Video games can be a force for good

Video games’ status as the favoured target for wowsers around the world may be under threat, with new research showing games can have a range of beneficial affects on players.

Video games’ status as the favoured target for wowsers around the world may be under threat, with new research showing games can have a range of beneficial affects on players.

According to theage.com.au, one US study recently found that surgeons who play computer games work faster and make less mistakes because of their superior manual dexterity.

After examining the performance of 33 laparoscopic surgeons, researchers found those who played computer games made 37% less errors and performed procedures 27% more quickly.

Researchers from Fordham University found that school age kids can develop better cognitive and perceptual skills through learning how to play a new computer game.

But another study suggests that whether computer games have a positive or negative effect on users depends more on the subject matter of games that are played.

Iowa State College researchers found that high school students who played violent video games tended to be more hostile and more inclined to view violence as normal than average.

By contrast, kids that played “pro-social” games were less likely to be involved in fights and tended to be more helpful than the average student, the researchers found.

“The big picture is that there are several dimensions in which games have effects,” Iowa State University psychologist Douglas Gentile says. “This means that games are not ‘good’ or ‘bad’ but are powerful educational tools and have many effects we might not have expected they could.”

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