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Video Game Roundup

April 6, 2007

Playing video games could have benefits as well as consequences.


Can video games be good for you? I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Playing video games for thirty hours substantially improves vision. In the journal Psychological Science, scientists report that first person shooter games, in which a player is both hunter and prey, improved the brain’s visual processing ability. It won’t improve a person’s ability to read an eye chart, but it did boost volunteers’ ability to pick out objects hidden in a cluttered space.

[erratic driving sounds]

In another study of video game effects, scientists in Germany discovered that playing car racing video games that encourage aggressive driving leads to aggressive driving in real life. Not only did the gamers engage in dangerous driving when put on a driving simulator, but they also reported substantially more traffic accidents.

I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.