Playing computer games makes kids smarter?
July 22, 2001 11:41 PM   Subscribe

Playing computer games makes kids smarter? Although it reads like a headline from The Onion, a British study funded by the ESRC has come to that conclusion. "They seemed able to focus on what they were doing much better than other people and also had better general co-ordination. Overall there was a huge similarity with top-level athletes."

Gotta go and show this to my boss...
posted by jedrek (11 comments total)
Yeah I need to put on my resume:

18 years video game experience

I must thank my mom, dad, God, and captain crunch cereal with without I would have never become addicted. I won a second chance sweepstakes for an Atari 2600 when I was 7. I been hooked ever since.

Come to think of it my lil sister ate all the Captain Crunch but she was only 4 or 5 at the time. Thanks SIS!
posted by andryeevna at 12:22 AM on July 23, 2001

Of course playing computer games makes kids smarter. While my peers were outside soaring in the air on the Red Lines and landing ever so gracefully in the ER with broken collarbones, I was inside playing Zork.

Hmmm, come to think of it, perhaps they have the cause and effect mixed up.
posted by fooljay at 1:44 AM on July 23, 2001

This is unsurprising... the human brain is a very powerful thing, and a great deal of its power is its ability to adapt and grow. These kids, more so than myself when I was a lad growing up in the late 80's, are being exposed to and immersed a very fast world of huge amounts of information and stimuli, including video games- and their brains have developed to handle it, just as anyone's brain will with enough time and environmental pressure.
posted by hincandenza at 2:21 AM on July 23, 2001

Of course, the article failed to note that the newspaper was sponsored by Electronic Arts and Eidos.
posted by ed at 2:33 AM on July 23, 2001

I agree with the co-ordination thing. Nothing makes your reaction time go up like a quick FPS. Personally, I think gaming helps with problem solving skills, too, since sometimes that's all that a game really is.

Myst, when it first came out, had my roommate and I captivated for a couple weeks and we literally played it non-stop until we beat it. It was a totally new type of challenge in a video game and boy did it take. Unfortunatly, these days games as engrossing as that are few and far between. I think the last time I felt that immersed was with the Theif series (Looking Glass Studios, R.I.P.), and it's a shame. As an avid gamer, I fear that I may be in danger of having a life if things don't pick up soon in the game industry ;)
posted by Hackworth at 3:19 AM on July 23, 2001

Where does webmutant live? Oh, Seattle, phew!
posted by machaus at 4:23 AM on July 23, 2001

About time we get this version of the story...
posted by jill at 6:02 AM on July 23, 2001

Video games can give kids goals.

Of course, the goals are things like beating Final Fantasy with four white mages, but that's beside the point.
posted by gleemax at 9:17 AM on July 23, 2001

I suppose it's not as dramatic a point as what this study arrived at, but it strikes me that playing games must directly increase one's effectiveness at learning new computer applications and interfaces. Each time you pick up a new game, you have to learn a new interface, a new set of tools, a bunch of new parameters for what you can and cannot do. It bothers me a bit that everyone wants their kids to become computer literate, but also wants them to stop playing those damn videogames.
posted by D at 9:56 AM on July 23, 2001

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Are Killer Zombies nothing to you? Must be 18+ 45K.

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Do you know a Pokemon grandmaster? Read them this ad!....
posted by john at 10:47 AM on July 23, 2001

I rarely play computer games anymore but reading this article prompted me to start up a new game of Myst! Something I haven't done for a loooong time.
posted by Jase_B at 5:55 AM on July 26, 2001

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