Playing action-based video games may boost players’ ability to coordinate incoming visual information with their motor control, a skill critical to many real-world behaviors including driving, new research shows. The findings are published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
“Our research shows that playing easily accessible action video games for as little as 5 hours can be a cost-effective tool to help people improve essential visuomotor-control skills used for driving,” says researcher Li Li of New York University Shanghai, lead author on the study.
Experience playing some types of video games has been shown to confer benefits for specific visual abilities, such as sensitivity to contrast and visuospatial attention. Despite the fact that many video games place high demands on visuomotor abilities, little research had investigated whether playing such games was associated with visuomotor control. Li, with co-authors Rongrong Chen (The University of Hong Kong) and Jing Chen (The University of Hong Kong), devised a series of studies to explore the possible link.
Using a driving simulation, the researchers compared the visuomotor abilities of experienced players of action video games (those who had played at least 5 hours per week over the previous 6 months) to participants who had negligible action video game experience.