Study Says Gamers Think More Quickly Than Non-Gamers

Does your entire family think that it’s totally bad that your life revolves around video games? Well, I have a bit of info that you can throw back in their smug f**king faces when you inevitably you catch s**t for playing Mass Effect for the 12th time. (Yes, I’m inserting my life into this post.)

A study by the University of Rochester has come to the conclusion that folks who play fast-paced action games make quicker decisions than those who don’t, and they also say those quickly made decisions are no less correct than those made by your slower, non-gamer counterparts.

The researchers found that video game players develop a heightened sensitivity to what is going on around them, and this benefit doesn’t just make them better at playing video games, but improves a wide variety of general skills that can help with everyday activities like multitasking, driving, reading small print, keeping track of friends in a crowd, and navigating around town.

Oo la la, bitches. I feel so smart and good about my usually very sad, sad existence right now. Here’s what the study was all about:

The researchers tested dozens of 18- to 25-year-olds who were not ordinarily video game players. They split the subjects into two groups. One group played 50 hours of the fast-paced action video games “Call of Duty 2” and “Unreal Tournament,” and the other group played 50 hours of the slow-moving strategy game “The Sims 2.”

After this training period, all of the subjects were asked to make quick decisions in several tasks designed by the researchers. In the tasks, the participants had to look at a screen, analyze what was going on, and answer a simple question about the action in as little time as possible (i.e. whether a clump of erratically moving dots was migrating right or left across the screen on average). In order to make sure the effect wasn’t limited to just visual perception, the participants were also asked to complete an analogous task that was purely auditory.

The action game players were up to 25 percent faster at coming to a conclusion and answered just as many questions correctly as their strategy game playing peers.

“It’s not the case that the action game players are trigger-happy and less accurate: They are just as accurate and also faster,” Bavelier said. “Action game players make more correct decisions per unit time. If you are a surgeon or you are in the middle of a battlefield, that can make all the difference.”

So, yeah. Can you believe that? I always knew that there was something about me that was way better than my game-mocking relatives. Hold your heads up high, gamers.

This story comes from Newswise, and if you click on that link there, you’ll find more praise for gamers and talk about how our brains are so cool and stuff. Man, what a day.

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