Video Games Are Good for Teen Brains

This is one of our continuing series on teens and tech where we help teenagers understand more about learning, attentional, and social-emotional concerns and how technology can help them.

Did you know that playing video games can actually help you get your homework done faster? It’s true.

Video games are good for teen brains. Playing certain kinds of video games can help you learn to process information more quickly. A series of studies have found that action video games and first-person shooters (FPS) help you develop a better awareness of your surroundings. This doesn’t just make you better at playing video games but it helps you with processing speed efficiencies such as multitasking, driving, reading small print, keeping track of friends in the crowd, and navigating around town. You may find you are quicker at making decisions in other areas as well.

Students who were trained in using action video games such as Call of Duty and Unreal Tournament were able to make quicker decisions and process information more quickly than students who played slow-moving strategy games. But before you go and start playing first person shooters and action video games five hours a day to improve your processing speed, remember that if you play games for too long you’ll have a lot less time to get your homework done. More importantly, the benefits appear to be moderate at most. Funny enough, the best research available indicates that playing an hour a day results in the maximum amount of benefit.

So now you have a good reason to tell your parents that playing video games will help you to improve your processing speed. Just don’t overdo it!

 

Featured image: Flickr user Carlton4211

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