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Your Brain on Games

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Canon 10th January 2011, 11:32 Quote
Quote:
Now Bavelier, Green and other scientists are exploring the idea hinted at by Green’s experience in 2000. Leaving aside the issue of whether video games cause aggression or other problems, they propose that some games can actually improve certain abilities and faculties in players, such as their vision.


Well it makes sense really, speaking as a Counter strike addict, non recovering and geek of all things militaria, tactics and combat sim. For example, target aquisition and quick assessment are both very important and rely on reaction times and your brain processing what is infront of you and your ability to make a decision without pause. Without directly attributing any said skills to a game, I play various games, namely Counter strike for sake of an example on a daily basis and almost every time you encounter another player you have to firstly aquire the target with your mouse rather than the iron sights or optics of a weapon, then you have to assess the target, in this case by the clothing they are wearing and the images you have previously seen, is it a CT or T? Doing this repeatedly you obviously become much quicker in both aquisition of the target and assessment. Further example would be when you face multiple enemies, you have to very quickly decide which is most of a threat to you, is it the one on the barrel, the one right next to me or the one in the distance running away?

So yes, I am a firm believer that certain games may develop skills but I don't feel to a point that could be of any practical use, yet.
greigaitken 10th January 2011, 12:10 Quote
as with most stats, sometimes people forget the flipside. Could it be that most fps players play those games because their brains are more suited to doing well at the sort of tasks that arise, thus they will score much higher in certain lab tests than average. This doesnt account for all the improvements but it does make them a bit less dramaitc
maximus09 10th January 2011, 12:30 Quote
reminds me of The Last Star Fighter. He was trained on an arcade made by aliens!
okenobi 10th January 2011, 13:39 Quote
The kids who did the Columbine shooting practised their marksmanship on Time Crisis. Video games have been training brains for a long time.
Snips 10th January 2011, 14:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by maximus09
reminds me of The Last Star Fighter. He was trained on an arcade made by aliens!

Awesome movie too!
Ending Credits 10th January 2011, 17:45 Quote
I think the fact that it took such a short time to "train" people probably hints towards the benefits being more mentality based. I.e after half an hour of gaming, the marines may think more in terms of the context of strategy and tactics than they would otherwise.

Although, I wonder if I'd still be able to make such quick decisions in CoD as I can now if I hadn't already been playing the series for years.
Orionche 10th January 2011, 17:59 Quote
It all depends on the type of game, I'd imagine, and what part of your body are you using the most. I do believe they can help with boosting situational awareness, motor control, reflexes, etc. Nothing drastic, ofc, but it is noticeable.

I'll take EVE for example. Some people who started their own corporations ingame developed management skills that they didn't have before and it helped them start their own RL business, employing people, bossing around and whatnot. :)
Fizzban 10th January 2011, 19:00 Quote
It's little wonder certain games help with certain skills. Be it management skills, tactical awareness or hand eye coordination ect.. They call on different skills we use in life to a lesser or greater degree.
Action_Parsnip 10th January 2011, 23:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canon
Quote:
Now Bavelier, Green and other scientists are exploring the idea hinted at by Green’s experience in 2000. Leaving aside the issue of whether video games cause aggression or other problems, they propose that some games can actually improve certain abilities and faculties in players, such as their vision.


Well it makes sense really, speaking as a Counter strike addict, non recovering and geek of all things militaria, tactics and combat sim. For example, target aquisition and quick assessment are both very important and rely on reaction times and your brain processing what is infront of you and your ability to make a decision without pause. Without directly attributing any said skills to a game, I play various games, namely Counter strike for sake of an example on a daily basis and almost every time you encounter another player you have to firstly aquire the target with your mouse rather than the iron sights or optics of a weapon, then you have to assess the target, in this case by the clothing they are wearing and the images you have previously seen, is it a CT or T? Doing this repeatedly you obviously become much quicker in both aquisition of the target and assessment. Further example would be when you face multiple enemies, you have to very quickly decide which is most of a threat to you, is it the one on the barrel, the one right next to me or the one in the distance running away?

So yes, I am a firm believer that certain games may develop skills but I don't feel to a point that could be of any practical use, yet.

I totally agree. I was a left4dead and battlefield 2 addict. I can appreciate that there is alot of 'multisensory processing' going on in games like these. Collecting all the inputs around you inoto your own subconscious model, then apply a layer of prediction: what you think will happen right not, and a few seconds from now, then formulating a plan: how am i going to not die/get injured from this, then applying another overlay on top: how does this relate to what I want to do and my goals/objectives in this scenario. Finally, meld this with your learnt reflex skills: dodge, evade, duck, turn and aim. Everything that I mentioned here must be happening on a barely conscious level by the fact that as soon as you put alot of thought into what your doing you inevitably get worse at whatever it is your playing, even thought what you are doing when not really thinking about it is a highly complicated mish-mash of identificaion, assessment, prediction, intuition and reaction.

But yeah, I can definetly see how certain types of games will strengthen the link between the eyes and the mind. It definetly helps train your vision and your ears into focusing on something in amongst a whole lot of other things happening.

Anything fiddly too, a gamer has got that nailed :oD
Phoenixlight 11th January 2011, 07:55 Quote
Quote:
it is perhaps premature to institute video game training in kindergartens and schools. Whatever their beneficial impact, violent games have also been linked in...

Regardless and any cons of violent games there are age ratings for a reason -_-
Pughy 11th January 2011, 16:01 Quote
I've played FPS games for years, from the PC to now just the casual stuff on xbox like halo/cod. I agree with how many different things someone must do to get pretty good at an FPS and more importantly how quick you can asses everything. There's been lots of times in CS:S for example where I'll have many enemys around me, and going by sight, sound, minimap you have to determine who to go for, where to go etc etc. These skills definitily pass over to other FPS games. I did read a report before about how FPS players have the fastest reactions of all gamers and I can say now that in my general day to day life my reactions are very quick indeed.

Since july tho, I pretty much haven't touched a FPS (just abit of CoD:BO) as I've been completely whored to Starcraft 2 which I think gives you another lot of good skills, mainly things like multitasking, awareness, problem solving abilities and more.
knuck 11th January 2011, 17:08 Quote
FPS games surely help developping hand-eye coordination but i think people look at things the wrong way. I think those who show great hand-eye coordination skills in fps games (or any game for that matter) already had the capacity and the game itself is just an opportunity to "let it out", so to speak.

I am a natural gamer and i can be good at any game that requires agility and reflexes but i believe it is just part of me, kind of like how a musician is born with the talent he has. If he never played any instrument, his talent would have never came out.

Everyone has potential in every areas and practicing will inevitably lead to some kind of improvement regardless of the potential limit of the person.

I therefore believe these tests are inconclusive

Ps: this message was typed on my desire. Sorry about the typos and spelling mistakes
boiled_elephant 12th January 2011, 03:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by greigaitken
as with most stats, sometimes people forget the flipside. Could it be that most fps players play those games because their brains are more suited to doing well at the sort of tasks that arise, thus they will score much higher in certain lab tests than average. This doesnt account for all the improvements but it does make them a bit less dramaitc

Good point for consideration.

I'll say from personal experience, though, that FPS certainly improved my driving and road safety. Driving shares a huge skillset with games. The flipside of that, though, could be that games may engender faster, more aggressive driving, as that's what games reward once you're good enough.

edit -
Quote:
‘I try to stay away from a dichotomous, good-bad distinction,’ says Douglas Gentile, who researches the effects of media at Iowa State University. ‘The very same game could have both positive and negative effects at the same time.’

This is a wise, wise man.
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