Psychologists give gaming the thumbs up
Makes kids smarter and surgeons faster
A trio of psychology reports examining the benefits of videogames have unanimously concluded that some titles can have positive effects on their players.
The research, which was released yesterday at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association in Boston, Massachusetts, found that people of all ages and from all walks can benefit from certain types of videogames, such as brain training and educational games.
For example, one research paper conducted by psychologists Fran Blumberg and Sabrina Ismailer from Fordham University, New York measured the ability of 122 fifth-, sixth- and seventh-grade US school children to problem solve while playing a videogame.
The kids had to think aloud for 20 minutes, while playing the title, and researchers assessed their problem-solving ability by examining the types of “cognitive, goal-oriented, game-oriented, emotional and contextual statements” the young gamers made.
“Younger children may show a greater need for focusing on small aspects of a given problem than older children, even in a leisure-based situation such as playing video games," concluded Blumberg.
A separate study, conducted by psychologists Douglas Gentile and William Stone from Iowa State University, found that a videogame requiring spatial skills and hand dexterity used to train surgeons resulted in keyhole surgery being performed “significantly faster” in testing sessions.
“Games are not ‘good’ or ‘bad’ but are powerful educational tools and have many effects we might not have expected they could,” summarised Gentile.
A third study, based on nearly 2000 World of Warcraft players, found that 86 per cent shared their game knowledge, in discussion posts, with other gamers. Roughly 50 per cent also used “systematic and evaluative processes” based on scientific reasoning to overcome in-game problems.
Not all videogames have a positive effect though. Grand Theft Auto has already been claimed to have inspired one group of teenagers to lob Molotov cocktails at cars in their local neighbourhood. And a Thai teen recently admitted to stealing a taxi because he wanted to see if it was as easy to do as it is in the game.
keyhole surgery being performed “significantly faster”
I can see it now in chatrroms all over the world:
DOOD HW U BT END LVL 4 GALLBLDDR PLZ HLP!!!!!
"Sure, this is not the only cause of violence and problems in society, there are many others, but it is a biggie."
Except that it isn't, is it? In the UK, thousands, if not millions of people play games every day, a lot of them probably involving violence. Out of those people, an absolutely minute fraction ever go out and commit violent acts. The way you describe it makes it out to be an inevitably biological process which means I, along with everyone else who has ever enjoyed a violent game will go out and commit acts of wanton violence.
Gaming "is not the only cause of violence and problems in society, there are many others, but it is a biggie"
RUBBISH - biggest one I'd say is lack of personal responsibility these days but that is just stating the (unpopular) obvious fact. Gaming is still actually niche compared to music and films in the number of people involved in playing any of these game I'd bet you'd call murder 'simulators'. Most popular game franchise of all time? Mario so kids go round jumping on people's head then do they?
Take the Daily Mail out of your pocket and burn it. This isn't the first time you have commented on here with a definite lack of logic or common sense and I doubt it'll be the last I'm afraid.
It is not the graphic content that is the problem per se, it is the *participation*.
Gamers will get an adrenaline rush out of a shoot-em-up that you won't get from sitting on a couch watching a battle movie.
With each new release of games there is an "arms race" whereby each version has to be more extreme than the previous one.
Sure, this is not the only cause of violence and problems in society, there are many others, but it is a biggie.
Thai Wannabe gamer
I read somewhere that the Thai lad didn't have the game as his parents wouldn't let him have it.
Heh, does that mean he would have quickly learnt that within the game, stealing taxis and killing people brings the cops down on you pronto and that the taxidriver would therefore not have been killed?