Could Grand Theft Auto Save Your Life?

We’ve all heard the negative effects of violent video games, but isn’t there any positive effects of playing Grand Theft Auto? Yes, according to a new study by the journal Acta Psychologica.

According to the study, gamers who spend time playing Grand Theft Auto and Super Mario may be able to scan their environment and spot what they are looking for more quickly than non-gamers. This means that gamers may be able to react more quickly to road conditions which could mean the difference between avoiding or causing an accident.

Experiments with college students who played video games 6 days a week, on average, for about 2 hours each day found they were quicker to detect target objects on a busy computer screen than their non-game playing friends.

The reason for this? The fast-paced nature of games requires vigilant watching and increases visual processing speed. The advantage? About 100 milliseconds.

This study has researchers wondering whether video games could be beneficial to brain rehabilitation in the cases of stroke victims or people suffering from age-related memory loss.

by lindsay
07/04/2005 09:43AM

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