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Do Video Games Improve the Brain?

Some researchers worry that violent video games will make their players (usually young boys) more violent, while other scientists think they help build brain power. Wouldn’t it be nice if all those hours kids spent glued to their PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 or Nintendo DS video games actually resulted in something tangible, like better grades in school? Improved concentration? Superior driving skills?

Over the past decade, many studies and news media reports have suggested that action video games such as Medal of Honor or Unreal Tournament improve a variety of perceptual and cognitive abilities. But psychologist disagrees with those claims. Many of those studies compared the cognitive skills of frequent gamers to non-gamers and found gamers to be superior. However, psychologist Walter Boot points out that this doesn’t necessarily mean that their game experience caused better perceptual and cognitive abilities. It could be that individuals who have the abilities required to be successful gamers are simply drawn to gaming. He says, "Despite the hype, in reality, there is little solid evidence that games enhance cognition at all.

"If people are playing games to improve their cognition, they may be wasting their time. Play games because you enjoy them, not because they could boost your brain power." (Sigh) We guess this means that the only way to change from being a poor student to a good one is to put down the video game, make yourself a nice cup of tea or coffee, and do your homework.

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