A new study has shown that video games can have a huge influence on the speed and accuracy of players.
Rolf Nelson, a psychology professor at Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., who studies human visual perception, insisted that playing different kinds of video games changes the way people think and approach their surroundings.s part of study, people were made to play either a fast-action video game (Unreal Tournament) or a puzzle-solving video game (Portal).
AdvertisementThe participants also performed a task in which both speed and accuracy were emphasized, both before and after their gaming sessions.
Nelson said: "People who played the action video game did tasks faster, but at the cost of being less accurate. Those who played the strategy game did things more accurately, but more slowly.
"If they're playing an action game and then switch to homework, they may try to blaze through their homework at the cost of making mistakes.
"In fact, it is striking how dramatically these strategies can be shifted by a single hour of video-game play.
"Workers who play action video games during their lunch hour may find that it affects the accuracy of their work soon after.
"Action and puzzle video games prime different speed/accuracy tradeoffs.
"While there has been a great deal of [research] focused on performance differences between non-video-game players and avid video-game players, we were interested in looking at the affects of playing different types of video games,"
He added: "Results convincingly demonstrate a priming effect for two different types of video games.
"Playing Unreal Tournament, an action video game, resulted in faster reaction times and lower accuracy on a location task, while playing Portal, a puzzle game, resulted in slower reaction times and higher accuracy."
"Different genres affect perception and strategy in very different ways.
"However, it is misleading to base conclusions about video games in general on a single genre, just as it would be misleading to base one's conclusions about the effects of television by considering only crime shows."
The study has been published in the latest edition of the academic journal Perception.