1. Better vision
Video games can give you an eye for detail.
Researchers from the University of Rochester found people who spent 30 hours training on action games over a month spotted targets on a cluttered screen 80% of the time; non-gamers managed this only 30% of the time. Here are some other ways to improve your visual and mental skills.
Allstate, a US insurer currently trialling video games for older drivers, has found that game software can improve visual skills important for safe driving. National Institutes of Health studies have shown the software reduces crash risk by up to 50%.
2. Brain booster
No longer labelled simply as evil time-wasters, video games are now considered a fast-track to a sharper mind.
When researchers from Iowa State University studied a group of laparoscopic surgeons, they found those who played video games three or more hours a week were 27% faster and made 37% fewer errors.
The surgeons were not playing games specifically designed for them, according to Dr Douglas Gentile, one of the study’s authors.
‘They were whatever off-the-shelf games they had played in the past,’ he said.
‘Conscious attention is required for the experience of pain,’ says Professor David Patterson of the University of Washington’s Department of Rehabilitation Medicine.
‘Virtual-reality games are unusually attention-grabbing, leaving less attention to process incoming pain signals,’ he said.
SnowWorld is the first custom-designed virtual reality game for burns patients.
Patients who play it while having dressings changed report a 40-50% reduction in pain.