A study by a team from the University of Rochester suggests that there is a specific type of video game that can be quite beneficial to your health, specifically your brain’s health. And that’s good news for everyone that loves intense action video games like Call of Duty.
According to the study, our brains are constantly trying to predict what’s going to happen next, all the time. As we learn and grow, we develop mental “templates” of our experiences which help us to figure out what to expect in the future.
The aim of the study was to find out if people who played action video games were better at creating these mental templates because of the skills they develop playing these types of games.
To accomplish this, the researchers had two groups. The first group was asked to play fast-paced action video games like Call of Duty and Unreal Tournament. The other was tasked with playing slower paced titles like The Sims.
Before and after the groups started gaming, they were given pattern recognition tests to complete. These tests showed that the group playing action video games improved their mental templates, compared to the more docile group.
The researchers also found that the action gamers’ improved performance was lasting. When tested its subjects several months to a year later, the participants that played the action games still outperformed the other participants, suggesting that they retained their ability to build better templates.
So, not only does it improve our cognitive abilities, action gaming’s benefits are long lasting. Please feel free to cite this study the next someone gives you grief for getting the latest Call of Duty.
A link to the study can be found here.
Keep your fingers crossed for more pro-gaming studies such as this one in the near future.