To add to my angst about all the time my kids are spending in front of the screen, I just read this report on how “Video games lead to faster decisions that are no less accurate.”*
Researchers at the University of Rochester tested students ages 18 to 25 who didn’t usually play video games. Half of them were required to play 50 hours of the high-action games “Call of Duty 2” and “Unreal Tournament”; the other half played the slow-moving game “The Sims 2”. Afterward, they tested students’ ability to make quick decisions—and found that the action game players were up to 25 percent faster and just as accurate as those who played the slower-paced game. Researcher Daphne Bavelier says, “It’s not the case that the action game players are trigger-happy and less accurate…[they] 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.”
Do me a favor: don’t tell my kids about this, okay?
*This research will be published in the journal Current Biology in a paper authored by Daphne Bavelier, Alexandre Pouget, and C. Shawn Green.