Forget “brain games.” If you really want to get your mind warmed up, then grab a gun and start fragging. According to this cognitive science study by the University of Rochester, first-person shooter games, like Call of Duty, can help you focus and make decisions faster. As a result, video games could provide a valuable training regimen for speeding up reactions in many types of real-life situations.
Researchers at the University of Rochester tested dozens of students who were not experienced gamers. The subjects were split into two groups where they played 50 hours of either the fast-paced first person shooter, Call of Duty, or the slower strategy game, The Sims.
After the 50 hour period, the subjects were then tested on their ability to make quick decisions by looking at a screen, analyzing it, and answering a simple question about what they saw. Call of Duty players players were up to 25% faster and answered just as many questions correctly as The Sims players.
Some specific insights from the study:
- Faster: The reaction times of action gamers get faster the more they play. As a result, they are able to complete daily tasks and work with enhanced speed compared to non-gamers, or slower paced strategy game players.
- Focused: The ability to stay focused and concentrate on video game tasks will help you later in life with real life tasks.
- Efficient: Gamers have faster reaction times and a stronger focus. This makes them leaders in a variety of vocations including surgeons, satellite imagery analysts and aircraft and drone pilots.
So if gaming does make us “smarter,” then when combined with the Entertainment Software Association (ESA)’s latest game player data, we can put together some good insights about the future of the American workforce. Over 75% of American households have gamers and 71% of gamers are 18 or older. This means there should be a steady stream of focused workers with faster reactions and who work more efficiently entering the workforce.
Are you a gamer? What do you think of the study?
Frank Wilson is a retired teacher with over 30 years of combined experience in the education, small business technology, and real estate business. He now blogs as a hobby and spends most days tinkering with old computers. Wilson is passionate about tech, enjoys fishing, and loves drinking beer.