Feeds

Psychologists give gaming the thumbs up

Makes kids smarter and surgeons faster

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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.

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
WTF happened to Pac-Man?
In his thirties and still afraid of ghosts
Reg man builds smart home rig, gains SUPREME CONTROL of DOMAIN – Pics
LightwaveRF and Arduino: Bright ideas for dim DIYers
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Apple patent LOCKS drivers out of their OWN PHONES
I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't let you text that
Microsoft signs Motorola to Android patent pact – no, not THAT Motorola
The part that Google never got will play ball with Redmond
Slip your finger in this ring and unlock your backdoor, phone, etc
Take a look at this new NFC jewellery – why, what were you thinking of?
Happy 25th birthday, Game Boy!
Monochrome handset ushered in modern mobile gaming era
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.