Kids love video games, it's pretty obvious. The gaze in their eyes as their minds get sucked in the game, how their usually locked up in a dark room and their no attention span to anything around them. These are the usual effects video games have on kids while they are playing. They are non-stop gamers that can't put the controller down. "I have to beat this level mom," is probably the most common sentence they will say in hours. Games are useless, or are they? Can they really make you smarter?
Research conducted at the University of Rochester has shown that action video games can give a person the ability to monitor more objects in their visual field and do so faster than a person who doesn't play such games. "Players can process visual information more quickly and can track 30% more objects than nonplayers," says Daphne Bavelier, associate professor of brain and cognitive sciences, and member of the Center for Visual Science.
Shawn Green, a student of Daphne Bavelier, recognised the link between video games and visual attention. Both of them tested games like "Grand Theft Auto 3", "Medal of Honor", and "Half Life" with gamers and non-gamers.
In the first test, the conductor would flash a small object on screen for 1/160th of a second, and the participant would indicate where it flashed. If you didn't pay attention you wouldn't know where the object flashed. The gamers noticed the object far more than non-gamers. The second test had one to 12 small objects on screen at once and the participant had to type how many objects they'd seen. The gamers saw the objects more often. In the last test, there were black letters flashed in a very rapid pace. One letter was white, and it may or may not have been followed by a black 'X'. Gamers picked out which letter was white and whether or not an 'X' followed it compared to non-gamers.
This study shows that the brain can be trained to see more attentively. In video games you work at solving a series of puzzles which exercises your brain because your brain is like a big muscle. If you use your brain, it will get stronger. If you don't then it won't be very useful.
Now they even made games with math problems and tricky mazes that give a major work to your brain. The top 10 games that will make you smart(er) are:
10. Hot Brain (PSP)
9. Re-Mission (PC)
8. Tetris DS (DS)
7. The New York Times Crosswords (DS)
6. Brain Age 2 (DS)
5. SimCity DS (DS)
4. Math Blaster (PC)
3. Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree (Wii)
2. Big Brain Academy (DS)
1. Brain Age (DS)
The next time your mother asks you why you are playing video games and not doing your homework, just tell her video games make you smarter and they're more fun.
*My old colour killed my eyes.