Playing High-Action Video Games May Speed Up Learning

Posted on November 20, 2014

Contrary to the popular stereotype of a distracted teenager lost in Halo or Call of Duty video games, new evidence suggests playing such high-action video games may help students learn and react faster-but not more impulsively.

The new findings run counter to recent studies that have linked extensive video game playing to attention-deficit and impulsiveness disorders, stoking concerns that playing highly stimulating video games reduces students’ ability to pay attention in less-stimulating academic settings.

"Certainly, there's a sense that action video games have been a disruptive technology in terms of capturing the attention of students," said Daphne Bavelier, the director of the Rochester Center for Brain Imaging, in Rochester, N.Y., in a symposium this month at the International Mind, Brain, and Education Society meeting here.

But, she argued, much of the cautionary research focuses on "pathological" game players - and regular but not obsessive playing of action games does not lower students’ ability to pay attention. In fact, she and University of Toronto psychologists Davood G. Gozli and Jay Pratt argue that game playing can improve students' attention control.

For example, in a new study previewed from the December issue of the journal Human Movement Science, Ms. Bavelier and colleagues found that those who play action video games learned new sensory-motor skills faster than nonplayers did.

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Category(s):Child Development

Source material from Education Week


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