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Study: Games Make Kids Better Students

| 15 Jun 2011 16:00
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Kids will undoubtedly be thrilled to learn that they can now tell their parents that games will help them in class.

When a study comes out about videogames these days, it tends to be filled with depressing news. Recently, we've learned that videogame addiction supposedly leads to depression and how a number of divorces are being blamed on games. However, a new study has just been released that reveals "puzzle games which exercise a child's working memory" are actually good for kids' abstract reasoning and problem solving skills.

The study comes out of the University of Michigan, where psychologist Susanne Jaeggi and her team decided to study the effects of videogames on the brain. As a result, the study followed 62 elementary and middle school children; 32 of whom were trained via brain-oriented videogames for fifteen minutes at a time, five times a week for a month, while the other 30 worked on "general knowledge and vocabulary tasks." The games were geared towards testing working memory (meaning that subjects were required to retain information while they solved problems).

Basically, the game required its users to fully concentrate on it to the point of blocking out distractions while concentrating on a single task. It turns out the only the kids who worked with the games demonstrated clear improvements in both abstract reasoning and problem solving. Not only that, but the improvements lasted for three months after the training stopped.

Apparently, though, "the authors stressed that the children who benefited the most were those who really needed them, as well as kids who do not find these types of games frustrating."

It's certainly cool to see a study that shows how videogames aren't contributing to the downfall of society, especially when it comes to kids. Maybe this will convince politicians that videogames aren't quite as dangerous to children as things like pornography, gambling, and alcohol.

Yeah, you're right. It probably won't change a thing.

Source: Medical News Today

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