AP Biology class blog for discussing current research in Biology

Tag: games

Video games make you read good.

According to a recent study, action video games have been found to improve the reading ability of dyslexic children from the ages of 7-13. The test involved taking dyslexic children and having them play 12 hours of action video games over a 2 week period. These children showed remarkably improved reading abilities that lasted for around 2 months after the video game session. The idea behind this was that in action video games there is an array of stimuli on the screen and you must learn to focus on certain points to be able to play. Similarly, when reading there are words all over the page and the kids could now focus on the section they were supposed to be reading. The same test was done but with a game that did not have constant “mayhem” and the children showed no improvements in reading ability. Psychologist Dr. Andrea Facoetti has said that these are credible results and that action video games are a legitimate way to improve the reading ability of dyslexic children. The video game they used was “Rayman Raving Rabbids”.

Photo taken by Niall Kennedy






The Elderly, Video Games, and Mental Health

In our culture video games generally get a bad rap. Many people associate them the younger generations, as well as violence and time wasting. However, all of this focus on the negative has kept many people from seeing their potential benefits. According to new research by North Carolina State University, video games can improve the mental well-being of the elderly. The study consisted of 140 adults with an average age of about 77.5 years old grouped into three categories, non-gamers, occasional gamers, and frequent gamers (played at least once per week). These adults were then tested across six categories of mental health: Well-Being, Positive Effect, Negative Effect, Depression, Social Functioning and Self-Reported Health. In every category except for Negative Effect and Depression, both occasional gamers and frequent gamers scored considerably higher. Both forms of gamers experienced less Depression and Negative Effects than did the non-gamers. According to Dr. Jason Allaire, one of the main researchers behind the study, these games can be things like Solitaire or Bejeweled, and not fully fledged Xbox, PS3 or Wii games. This means that a large number of people can have access to these benefits, at a relatively low cost. In addition, video games have been found to have other positive effects on people, such as speeding up decision making and increasing awareness of surroundings. These studies are only the beginning of larger effort to examine the potential benefits of video games on people. Maybe video games aren’t that bad after all?

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