Apr 262012

I find it amazing how many people still think that video games are a waste of time or are doing nothing more than training people to be killers. These people are clearly insane, as millions of gamers who would never harm another would tell you.  (If these lunatics were correct, gamer conventions like PAX would become bloodbaths.)

Hard-core gamers know the truth, and one of the truths that we have known for a log time is that our reflexes and ability to think quickly and analytically have always been sharper than most people, even for those of us who are over 40. (I regularly get complimented on my reflexes when something unexpected occurs, like catching something that was bumped off a wall or when a colleague throws something — Nerf! — and I avoid, deflect, or even catch it.)

An article in Science Daily recently recently stated:

A team led by psychology professor Ian Spence at the University of Toronto reveals that playing an action videogame, even for a relatively short time, causes differences in brain activity and improvements in visual attention.

This is nothing new.  In fact, this quote predates the University of Toronto’s incredible “finding”:

“I recently learned something quite interesting about video games. Many young people have developed incredible hand, eye, and brain coordination in playing these games. The Air Force believes these kids will be our outstanding pilots should they fly our jets.” 

That quote is a from a speech that was given at Epcot Center by President Ronald Reagan on March 8, 1983.  It’s too bad that science has only recently found out what gamers have known for almost three decades.