Gamers learn faster according to one German study

Professors Sabrina Schenk and Boris Suchan

Playing video games pays off in life. According to one German study done at Ruhr-Universität Bochum, participants who played games over a set period of time performed better in a subsequent test than non-gamers.

Professors Boris Suchan, Sabrina Schenk and Robert Lech reported their findings in Behavioural Brain Research.

Here are the most important excerpts from the study’s official press release.

The author states that “The research team studied 17 volunteers who – according to their own statement – played action-based games on the computer or a console for more than 15 hours a week. The control group consisted of 17 volunteers who didn’t play video games on a regular basis.”

“Both teams did the so-called weather prediction task, a well-established test to investigate the learning of probabilities. The researchers simultaneously recorded the brain activity of the participants via magnetic resonance imaging.”

“The gamers were notably better in combining the cue cards with the weather predictions than the control group. They fared even better with cue card combinations that had a high uncertainty such as a combination that predicted 60 percent rain and 40 percent sunshine.”

From a logical standpoint, the study makes sense. Regular gamers practice using their brains often enough. With online multiplayer games today relying on teamwork with real people and strategy, the average gamer is always thinking.

Meanwhile, someone who does not play games often may be using their brain for other purposes. But the constant critical thinking exercise that playing video game provides is not there for non-gamers, unless something else fills the void.

Video games came a long way since its label as a niche hobby for nerds 20 years ago. It is now mainstream, and proven to help people utilize their minds quicker than the average person.

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