Video Game Players Make Faster Real Life Decisions

Call_of_Duty_logoKids, pay attention, here’s some ammo to fire back at your parents when they tell you that you spend too much time playing video games, via Reuters:

Violent video games like “Call of Duty” can help trigger-happy players make decisions faster in real life, according to a study released on Wednesday.

Researchers from New York’s University of Rochester found that first-person shooter games produced a heightened sensitivity and led to more efficient use of sensory evidence.

“These benefits of video games stem only from action games, which almost always means shooter games, where you go through a maze and you don’t know when a villain will appear,” researcher Daphne Bavelier said in a statement.

“It’s not exactly what you’d think of as mind enhancing. Strategy or role-playing games don’t have the same effect.”

The study, published in the journal Current Biology, involved testing 26 people aged 18 to 25, none of whom had played shooting games before, over several months.

Half of the participants played 50 hours of shooting games like “Call of Duty” and “Unreal Tournament” while the other half played 50 hours of a strategy game, “The Sims 2.”…

[continues at Reuters]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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7 Comments on "Video Game Players Make Faster Real Life Decisions"

  1. Vox Penii | Sep 16, 2010 at 2:06 pm |

    faster ≠ better.

    from a review of Carl Honore’s book “In Praise of Slowness:”

    Aesop was right. The tortoise beats the hare. But the human brain is “hardwired” for speed. “We get a kick from the danger, the buzz, the thrilling, throbbing, heady surge of sensory input that comes from going fast,” Honoré writes.

    The other reason for the cult of speed is control. By, you guessed it, corporations.

    The clock is the “operating system” of industrial capitalism, “the thing,” Honoré writes, “that makes everything else possible—meetings, deadlines, contracts, manufacturing processes, schedules, transport, working shifts.” Before the clock, of course, humans lived by what he calls Natural Time. Our internal rhythms determined when we ate, and time was set in individual towns by the solar noon, that time of day when the sun was directly overhead. As late as the l880s, New Orleans was 23 minutes behind Baton Rouge, only 80 miles away. Not until 1911 was most of the world on the same clock.

    It was no easy task getting workers to live by the clock. According to Honoré, the ruling classes set out to turn punctuality into a moral virtue and civic duty. In the early 1900s, Frederick Taylor, a management consultant for the Bethlehem Steel Works, implemented “scientific management” to determine how long each task should take—to the nearest fraction of a second. “In the past, the man has been first,” Taylor declared. “In the future the system must be first.” A pariah of the unions, he was later fired. Workers quit, complaining of stress and fatigue.

    But, as Michael Schwarz, who produced a television documentary about Taylor, told Honoré, “[Taylor’s] ideas about efficiency have come to define the way we live today, not just at work but in our personal lives as well.”

    Work has spilled into our personal time. It used to be only “workaholics” worked anytime, anyplace. Now it’s common—and expected—that we work 24/7.

    One result is that we don’t reflect—we react. Fast Thinking, which is linear and logical, is what we do under time pressure. Slow Thinking, which we do in the shower or walking the beach, results in insight and creative epiphanies. Slow Thinking, in other words, is unpredictable. Free.

  2. A Bad Joke | Sep 16, 2010 at 4:00 pm |

    The Sims is not a strategy game. Perhaps they had played one, such as Alpha Centauri or Empire: Total War…

  3. A Bad Joke | Sep 16, 2010 at 12:00 pm |

    The Sims is not a strategy game. Perhaps they had played one, such as Alpha Centauri or Empire: Total War…

  4. A Bad Joke | Sep 16, 2010 at 4:02 pm |

    Yes, I how to copy and paste too.

  5. Thank you for taking up a page worth of space and contributing absolutely nothing.

  6. MonkeyLove | Sep 23, 2010 at 4:59 pm |

    But will they be the right decisions?

  7. But will they be the right decisions?

Comments are closed.