Science Says Black Ops 2 Is Good for You

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Science Says Black Ops 2 Is Good for You

It turns out that hardcore first-person shooters have a number of positive effects on the cognitive functioning of the human brain.

We all know that videogames are bad for you, and that shooters are particularly bad, and that the Call of Duty series is far and away the worst of the lot. Well, maybe it's not "known," exactly, but it seems like a fairly reasonable proposition, right? After all, FPSes are twitchy, violent and utterly void of meaningful redeeming qualities. Right?

Actually, no, according to cognitive neuroscientist Daphne Bavelier, a researcher at the University of Geneva. In a recent TED talk, she spoke about the impact of hardcore shooters on the brain and found a surprising number of upsides. Taken in "reasonable doses," games like Black Ops 2 can "have quite powerful, positive effects on many different aspects of our behavior," she said. Hardcore gamers have better visual acuity than non-gamers, improved attention and a better ability to multitask and to switch their focus between multiple tasks quickly.

Bavelier's studies have also found that "training" on videogames can have a significant positive impact on brain functions and even more importantly, that once they take hold, the improvements last. The long-term trick, as she explained, is to blend the broccoli of education with the chocolate of entertainment; but in the meantime, you can take some comfort in the knowledge that all that running and gunning isn't turning your brain to mush after all.

Source: TED

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"hardcore FPS are good for you" says science, "casual FPS are good for you" says the headline. So, which of the two is it now?

Watched this on Ted Talks. :)

Blacks Ops 1 is good for you. Black Ops 2 will make you grow brain tumours and cists.

Most folk could have told ya this.

Really entertaining when my mom or one of her friends tries to watch my friend and I play CoD, they have no idea how we can keep track of so many things going on at once and react to them

Rule Britannia:
Blacks Ops 1 is good for you. Black Ops 2 will make you grow brain tumours and cists.

Wrong way round man! Blopstwo is turning out much better than blops, I may even go out and buy this one(!) rather than the usual sponging off my mate's XBL.

Be the first CoD purchase I've made since 2007, so it must have something right...

Well I already knew I needed to game more, now I have an excuse! =D

Edit: I 'd actually like some chocolate broccoli :)

If CoD can improve your brain like that, Quake and UT should turn us into meta-humans.

I went in to reading this article going "HA! yea ri..ght..." then by the end i left thinking "..well that actually all sounds quite reasonable and plausible....well then."

most notable improvement: self expression
image

As it turns out, it's not *just* Black Ops 2, but what's in a tagline?
But I understand: It's concise and "controversial" (on these forums).

To be honest our very own Critical Miss sums up my opinion on this.

Well, I've been gaming with first person shooters since the days of Doom in my dad's 486 DOS PC and I've recently been addicted to Tribes, I guess more complex shooters are better for everyone (and yes, I just said that Doom is more complex than COD).

why black ops 2 in particular?

AnarchistFish:
why black ops 2 in particular?

its the most popular shooter to come out recently.

Im sure there are probably better games to use for such tasks, but still, its not completely unheard of, if you ask me.

So what is it now? Hardcore FPS like CS, Tribes or TF2? Or casual sction games like CoD: All of them?

Considering the massive aneurisms that occurred after Treyarch pulled Nuketown from BlackOps's playlist I really don't think this can be true.

Considering there was never any science behind games being bad for you, this is no surprise. Anything that pushes the brain into doing what any modern FPS does will of course have positive results on the the brains functionality. It's basic Neuroplasticity. It works like this, if you use a part of your brain, that part becomes better at what you require it to do. If you aren't good at math, doing math makes you better at math. If you have a short attention span, focusing on a single thing for an extended period of time can increase that attention span. Using your will power will increase the density and functionality of your prefrontal cortex. But, I guess the average person doesn't realize things like this happen. I'm glad someone put it out there. I can't help but feel since TV rots your brain (it literally does this as your brain goes complete passive during this activity) and the majority of gaming takes place on TVs/Monitors, the people jump to games doing this.

Edit: I feel this part needs explanation. CoD:BlOps 2 should not be the focus of this. It's any game that makes your brain work in ways that it otherwise does not work that will do this. I can't help but feel that people will interpret this to only mean a certain kind of game will do this. Most games will have this function in some capacity. You want to work on finger dexterity and reaction time, I invite you to play Ultimate MVC 3. You want to better help yourself think outside the box, play some good adventure games.

That's not to say that all games will have this kind of function. Games that hinder your already developed or natural abilities can lead to frustration and discontent with the game environment. If you are in a happier state, that leads to cognitive ease, which makes it easier to learn. Ultimately that is why I find any FPS far superior on my PC versus a console with a controller. Also, I found your ability to react in RE6 caused me ridiculous amounts of frustration.

When you can realize that there was a slight sighting of a helmet in the corner of a window, and you can see it and also shoot it, you know this kind of games can improve at least something. At least CoD 1-2 did that for me.

LOL there's something to be said for when she talks about how those kinds of games improve your ability to see different levels of grey.

But seriously, I love me some TED talks.

No.. No it is not good for you... For each of those 'upsides' is about 5 different downsides. Just because it slightly improves your focus doesn't mean that it has an overall good effect on your overall health.

Why in the name of Branston Pickle do they bing in BlOPS2?! I would understand Painkiller or Serious Sam more, they actually require some more strategy and much more attention.

Oh come on, people ...
Obviously they use CoD because it's a game that's casual enough for researchers and test subjects alike to play.

Had they used Tribes: Ascend, there would have been no benefit at all, as a bunch of people would not be able to get past "how to move forwards"

I swear Daft Punk should get royalties every time someone uses harder, better, faster, stronger and swaps or adds a word :P.



Not a bad choice as it seems considering it's been heavily marketed and does count as 'stimulating.' Still, there are a wealth of other shooters out there that are more deserving of the spotlight.

A Smooth Criminal:
No.. No it is not good for you... For each of those 'upsides' is about 5 different downsides. Just because it slightly improves your focus doesn't mean that it has an overall good effect on your overall health.

What exact downsides are you talking about? Besides the degradation of your social health.

First thing I thought of was League of Legends and 'map awareness'

I read something along these lines in another article about how driving games improve reaction time.

Agreed! I've been playing shooter games for years and I think nice lady make good with words and talky.

Oooh, shooty time! *drools*

I am surprised how they forgot about how a game like what they specify already exists AND already has a sequel!

It's a little indie gem called Portal. You may not have heard of it...

This stuff has been known for years. Hardcore FPS like Quake will most definitely increase your ability to process information and help improve spatial awareness, as well as the ability to make split second decisions.

Man, I love TED talks. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

Our glorious gaming master race grows ever closer... I long for the day. The chosen hour draws near, my brethren. Mark it.

Andy Chalk:
It turns out that hardcore first-person shooters have a number of positive effects on the cognitive functioning of the human brain.

Andy Chalk:
Hardcore

Andy Chalk:
Black Ops 2

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Hahahahahahaha
haha ha, aha...

Oh MAN!

You should take up comedy or something man, that damn near killed me

Bindal:
"hardcore FPS are good for you" says science, "casual FPS are good for you" says the headline. So, which of the two is it now?

Black Ops 2 has a League play mode that matches you based on performance and skill level instead of just randomly now.

So you can test out your theory or opinion that Call of Duty is for casual scrubs and takes no actual skill against some of the best players. Assuming you actually get that far, which you probably won't because you think Call of Duty games take no skill... an opinion you could have only formed if you were a trash player playing against other trash players.

But feel free to do some science and see how high you get.

Makes sense to me. Exercising the brain improves cognitive function.

speaking of which, I can't fucking type right now, I better play some games.

The research is wrong becuase i never played black ops and i can multitask fine.

So you can test out your theory or opinion that Call of Duty is for casual scrubs and takes no actual skill against some of the best players. Assuming you actually get that far, which you probably won't because you think Call of Duty games take no skill... an opinion you could have only formed if you were a trash player playing against other trash players.

most shooters take no skill. anyone with at least half a brain can easilyl earn where all the "pro" player routes are in maps. the reason everyone played dust in CS is becuase everyone knew every inch of it and apparently there existed people who weren't bored by "W+mouse1=win" model. i gave up playing shooters, either i play maps i dont know against players that do, or there are no opposition because i know the map. strategy games are much more fun, it runs different every time.

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