Some people in the computer gaming business have been saying for some time that these types of games can be good for you. Now it seems that some eggheads at New York's University of Rochester have some science that backs these claims up.Reported in the Independent, the scientists split a group of 18 to 25 year olds into two groups and gave each group a different computer game to play. One group was given the strategic game 'The Sims 2' to play while the other group was asked to play action games like 'Call of Duty 2'.
After 50 hours of play time the participants were subjected to a series of tests.
What the researchers found was that those that played the action game made just as accurate decisions as those that played strategic games, but they made those choices on average 25% quicker.
Daphne Bavelier, who is a cognitive scientist at Rochester University and has been studying the effects of computer games, said "It's not the case that the action game players are trigger-happy and less accurate – they are just as accurate and also faster. Action game players make more correct decisions per unit time. If you are a surgeon or you are in the middle of a battlefield, that can make all the difference."
It was also reported by gogaminggiant.com in Aug 2009 that Professor Kevin Drukin of the University of Strathclyde had said "Navigating the complex environments of computer games can help to promote spatial abilities, and rapid responses to events on screen can improve reaction times, eye-hand coordination and planning."
So there you are. The next time your child asks for that latest shoot-em-up don't just dismiss it as a waste if money.
However. I personally still wait to be convinced that computer gaming beats the benefits of taking part in real action activity. Especially as it benefits both mind AND body.