Study Finds Games Make Kids More Creative

November 2, 2011 -

Girls and boys who play video games are more creative, according to new research conducted at the Michigan State University. And, according to researchers, it doesn't matter whether these video games are violent in nature. Both boys and girls who play video games tend to be more creative, regardless of whether the games are violent or nonviolent, according to new research by Michigan State University scholars.

The MSU study surveyed 491 middle-school students (12-years-old on average) on various daily activities. Researchers found that that the more kids played video games, the more creative they were in tasks such as drawing pictures and crafting stories. When use of cell phones, the Internet and computers came into play, the activities were found to be unrelated to creativity, the study found.

The survey was part of MSU’s Children and Technology Project, which is funded by the National Science Foundation. The survey assessed how often the students used different forms of technology and gauged their levels of creativity with the Torrance Test of Creativity-Figural. The Torrance test involves tasks such as drawing an “interesting and exciting” picture from a curved shape, giving the picture a title and then writing a story about it.

The study also found that boys played video games more than girls, and that boys favored games that included violence and sports while girls favored games involving interaction with others (human or nonhuman). Regardless of gender, race or type of game played, greater video game playing was the only technology that appeared to be associated with greater creativity.

Linda Jackson, professor of psychology and lead researcher on the project, said the study is the first evidence-based demonstration of a relationship between technology use and creativity. About 72 percent of U.S. households play video games, according to the Entertainment Software Association. Jackson hopes that game designers will be motivated by this study and identify the aspects of video game activity that are responsible for the creative effects.

"Once they do that, video games can be designed to optimize the development of creativity while retaining their entertainment values such that a new generation of video games will blur the distinction between education and entertainment," Jackson said.

Source: Health Canal

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