Solid evidence that gaming improves perception and motor skills – and that skills are transferable!

Some excellent studies have shown the value gaming has in motor skills, perception and decision making. Dye, Shawn Green and Bavelier have spent a number of years continuously experimenting and improving on their research surrounding whether people’s ability to make decisions or perceive things is affected by games. The overwhelming result is that gaming does have a significant impact on certain skills. Of particular interest is the conclusion drawn that, from these experiments, the assumption can be made that skills learned during gaming are transferable … a critical issue in education and learning fields.

One area that is confirmed to be improved is the ability to pay attention (attentional capacity) during an activity. Gamers have a longer attention span and can focus better on a task and improved results (accuracy).

Most interestingly, the study didn’t just conclude that gaming improves visual attention skills. As a second experiment, participants were divided into groups to play two different games. One group played an ‘action game’ called Medal of Honor. The other group played Tetris. Both groups achieved better results on the tests than groups which didn’t play video games as a ‘training’ tool. Most interestingly, the participants who played Medal of Honor did better than the participants who played Tetris.

The study was able to conclude that 10 days of action game training is sufficient to increase visual attention capacities. Further, action video game playing pushes the limits of different areas of visual attention. The researchers argue that the nature of games and the inherent visual multitasking provides significant visual skill training.

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v423/n6939/full/nature01647.html (paywall article, sorry)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2871325/

http://greenlab.psych.wisc.edu/documents/Perceptual-Learning-During-Action-Video-Game-Playing(Green-Li-Bavelier-2010).pdf

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The Research Kitchen

The Research Kitchen

A part of my coursework, I’ve joined a small wiki to help with my studies and research. The research kitchen is a space to collaborate and discuss research ideas with other Griffith people. 

Open Learning And Rethinking Academia

Open Learning And Rethinking Academia

In the old days, being relevant was writing academic papers. Today, if people can’t find you on the internet, if they’re not talking about you in Rwanda, you’re irrelevant.

Discussion about reinventing education and academia. Instead of just writing papers, people need to use social media, networks and tap into the knowledge out there in the street. The internet is a resource for connecting, funding and finding others with common interest and similar fields. Using communities, movements can be created that aim to resolve problems or find innovative ways to look at old issues. The focus is on learning … not education. 

An interesting idea is that of practice over theory – playing with ideas and exploring, rather than theorising. Innovation is no longer expensive and limited to elite, wealthy organisations. Anyone can be innovative. 

How can I take the ideas of Minecraft and education, find some ideas I can play with and practice and see what kind of outcomes I can achieve? How can I use Minecraft to be innovative?