We've talked before about how video games can be more than just a time sink. One recent study shows that gamers who play action games made decisions 25 per cent faster with no loss in accuracy.
Photo by Campus Party Mexico.
The study took gamers who were playing action games and compared them to people playing strategy games. The result? The action gamers made faster decisions, but weren't any less accurate:
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, analyse 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 per cent faster at coming to a conclusion and answered just as many questions correctly as their strategy game playing peers.
Most notably, all subjects were not already avid video game players and were subjected to 50 hours of gameplay each. This means that even if you haven't been playing all your life, the study showed that picking up a shooter or fast-paced game can still help you make quicker decisions.