Study on Action Video Games: Better learning through first-person shooters?

Whenever video games are suspected of not living up to their comparatively young status as a cultural asset, defenders who don't seem to trust the label itself

Study on Action Video Games: Better learning through first-person shooters?
Whenever video games are suspected of not living up to their comparatively young status as a cultural asset, defenders who don't seem to trust the label itself point to studies that prove that gaming has a positive effect on the perception skills and learning performance of video gamers. Even if in these cases it is argumentatively a kind of indirect profitability that was believed to be overcome in the discussion about video games, performance and ways to increase it are now the more recognized currency – compared to, say, gaining knowledge.

One such study has now appeared in the science magazine Nature. In it, eight researchers led by study leaders Ru-Yuan Zhang (Shanghai Jiao Tong University) and Adrien Chopin (University of Geneva) try to show that action video games have a positive effect on "learning to learn". The learning of learning takes place when information or skills that people acquire during a task lead to the fact that these people can learn and cope with the requirements of new tasks more quickly.

45 hours of video game play in ten weeks

In two intervention studies each, the scientists divided subjects who had spent no more than one hour a week playing first-person or third-person shooters and sports games and simulations in the past year and the year before, no more than three hours a week Groups. One group played first-person shooters such as "Call of Duty: Black Ops" (parts 1 and 2) and "Half Life 2". The other group played simulation games such as Sims 3, Zoo Tycoon 2013 and Viva Piñata. The test participants had to complete a total of 45 video game hours over a period of ten weeks, playing at least three and no more than eight hours per week.

Before and after the game phase, participants were tested on certain tasks. They had to trace the direction of movement of moving patterns, remember shapes, correctly sort smileys with changing faces according to their initial stage. Based on the evaluation of the two rounds with 25 (University of Rochester) and 52 (University of Geneva) subjects, Zhang and colleagues found that the action gaming group performed better in both the lower-level perceptual tasks and the more demanding recognition tasks (higher-level cognitive tasks) than the group that had dealt with life simulations. What do we learn from this? So if shooters have positive learning effects, then there is only one thing to consider: There must be enough time to learn on the side.

Updated Date: 23 October 2021, 00:01

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