Study: Game Playing Improves Visual Awareness

April 13, 2010 -

A psychology student at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah recently conducted a study of gamers which showed that playing games helped to increase their visual response and alertness.

Christian Peterson, a senior at the school, put 50 students through Halo 3 sessions that ran 20, 40 or 60 minutes, reports the Deseret News. The participants had already taken a visual-responsiveness test before their gaming session, and were asked to take it again post-Halo 3.

Peterson reported on the results, “We found a great increase in ability to spot changes in visual field after playing the video game.” Visual response and alertness also “increased significantly” when comparing pre and post-game visual test results. The length of time spent playing Halo 3 appeared to have no effect on visual test results.

Peterson, who called himself “somewhat of a gamer,” will present the findings on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. today as part of the 2010 Undergraduate Research Posters event.


Comments

Re: Study: Game Playing Improves Visual Awareness

To be fair, we should pick just as much at the methodology of studies that show positive effects from gaming, as those that show negative effects.

First thing that jumps out at me here is that it doesn't look like they had a control group (people that didn't play video games between the two tests.)  That could easily skew the results.

Re: Study: Game Playing Improves Visual Awareness

I have to agree.  I don't see much here besides evidence of a "testing" effect.  However we are talking about an undergraduate student.  I hope he'll continue on to develop "bigger and better" studies.

Re: Study: Game Playing Improves Visual Awareness

I'm not even sure it's a worthwhile study... i mean if you could prove long term visual awareness then yes i see the benefit, but not in the short term. to me, it sounds more like they were more visually aware right after playing games because they were more responsive. The games was making them look for lots of different movements and respond quickly , so just after playing the games their brains are still in that same mind set... if you give them enough time to rest and relax, their brains would probably go back to normal

Seems like it may just be the case that people are more visually aware while they are playing games, not that playing games improves visual awareness

Re: Study: Game Playing Improves Visual Awareness

Or as Matthew said, when you factor in the quote "The length of time spent playing Halo 3 appeared to have no effect on visual test results." that could mean that it wasn't Halo 3 that made them score better, but it was doing the test twice.

Re: Study: Game Playing Improves Visual Awareness

 From the sounds of it, the people they tested were their own controls.  They took one test before playing games, and then one after.  More scored better the second time around.  However, chances are they could have scored better because they took the test a second time rather than any video game influence.

Re: Study: Game Playing Improves Visual Awareness

And that is why they need a control group that doesn't play any games between tests. To rule out that taking the test a second time was enough to improve scores.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Study: Game Playing Improves Visual Awareness

Given that

a) "After the test, students were encouraged to play Halo 3, a popular first-person shooter game, for 20, 40 and 60 minutes, depending on the participant."

and

b) "The length of time spent playing Halo 3 appeared to have no effect on visual test results."

The wording in a) seems to suggest that *nobody* took the test a second time without playing the game at all, and so there was no control group.

So, everyone improved the second time they did the test, and b) suggests that the level of improvement was independent of how long they spent playing Halo 3. Most logical conclusion? Taking the test twice improves your score, playing Halo does not.

Re: Study: Game Playing Improves Visual Awareness

Matthew is on the right track. Honestly, this test was done just as poorly as many of the anti-gaming ones, and I just couldn't use it as evidence that gaming is not harmful (at least, not with a good conscience).

Re: Study: Game Playing Improves Visual Awareness

 I might just question that the second test may have been easier than the first...

Re: Study: Game Playing Improves Visual Awareness

Giving that spotting a small detail off in the distance can mean the difference between victory and defeat in such games, I can see this being true. And in solving puzzles you do need ot keep an eye out for the solution, as in many cases it's not too obvious.

Re: Study: Game Playing Improves Visual Awareness

Cue the fundies calling the study and the guy reporting on it biased in favour of the videogame industry.

Re: Study: Game Playing Improves Visual Awareness

Nah, it'll be a certain someone taking this as an admission that his claim of video games giving their players some kind of mental heads up display is right.

 
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Ivresse@MechaCrash: I'd like to refer you to the words of Stephen Fry: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CGA3QGHW8AARsax.jpg05/28/2015 - 9:43am
Wonderkarpalright Fudge05/28/2015 - 9:27am
MechaCrashWhat good is being one of the perpetually offended if you don't make sure everybody sees just how offended you are?05/28/2015 - 9:02am
james_fudgeYou two can reasonably slug it out in the article in question if you want :)05/28/2015 - 8:59am
MechaCrashI wasn't expecting you to drag it into the shoutbox, either. Just when I think I have you pegged, you prove me only MOSTLY right.05/28/2015 - 8:55am
MechaCrashWhat argument? You made a joke in bad taste. I made a response joke in similar bad taste. And you are going berserk with...okay, not the flavor of HOW DARE YOU I was expecting (I thought you'd No True Scotsman, instead you dodged it entirely).05/28/2015 - 8:52am
Wonderkarpfyi, thats a self made "REDACTED" to make Mr Fudges life a little easier.05/28/2015 - 8:50am
Wonderkarphow is calling somebody out for being a [REDACTED] throwing a Tantrum? Is it cause you cant dispute my argument?05/28/2015 - 8:46am
MechaCrash"Grow a thicker skin," says the person throwing a tantrum that's filling the shoutbox.05/28/2015 - 8:40am
Wonderkarpbeen a bombing had Sarkeesian spoke, because there would be an increase police presence and nobody is THAT STUPID to make a threat like that and follow through. This isnt the movies05/28/2015 - 8:35am
WonderkarpIts what you make of them. GamerGate in DC had a bomb threat. Police were there, but GG continued to enjoy themselves and have a good time. Bomb Threats in general, you give them to the police and continue your business. I guarantee there wouldnt have05/28/2015 - 8:34am
MechaCrashhttp://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/58521856-78/sarkeesian-usu-video-feminist.html.csp Remember the talk Sarkeesian had to cancel because of death threats? Yeah. That's the thing I'm talking about.05/28/2015 - 8:30am
WonderkarpI'm not defending Bomb Threats. They are idiotic and have no place in society, but as somebody who lived through several bomb threats I can tell you they are weak05/28/2015 - 8:29am
WonderkarpSchool Shootings on the other hand are violent events that end the lives of children and come without proper warning due to mental illness and gun laws.05/28/2015 - 8:28am
Wonderkarpcause Bomb Threats are what you make of them. No successful bombing in the US has had a threat posted about it beforehand. Boston Marathon? Okahoma City? You either handle it with caution or dont handle it at all. most of the time ar done as stupid pranks05/28/2015 - 8:27am
Infophile@MechaCrash: One difference is that there's actual evidence linking GGers (or their ideological allies) to bomb threats, and no link to school shootings. For instance, we hate Jack Thompson here, but let's not accuse him of eg. committing grand theft auto05/28/2015 - 8:26am
james_fudgeGo to your corners and let the cutman do his work.05/28/2015 - 8:21am
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WonderkarpThere is a big difference between what I said and what you said.05/28/2015 - 8:13am
MechaCrashNot that it stops you, of course.05/28/2015 - 8:11am
 

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