Spark Blog Notes from the Spark Team

March 7, 2012

Is Gaming Good for You?

If you were ever looking for a reason to justify playing video games, just check out this Wall Street Journal article. Author Robert Lee Hotz offers up research which suggests “that gaming improves creativity, decision-making and perception.” 

That’s right, mom!

The article cites a study from the University of Rochester, which concludes that “people who played action-based video and computer games made decisions 25% faster than others without sacrificing accuracy.” Another study out of Michigan State University found that “almost any computer game appears to boost a child’s creativity.”  That’s good news for those who like to game and those who like to create games, which the article says is a $15.9 billion business.  (It jumps to $25.1 billion when you add the hardware and accessories market.)  It’s also likely to please everyone gathering in San Francisco this week for the annual Game Developers Conference.

But of course, there are some downsides. Indiana University researchers used brain scans to show that “violent videogames can alter brain function in healthy young men after just a week of play, depressing activity among regions associated with emotional control,” it says.

One thing is certain--the mobile gaming industry is going gangbusters. RCR Wireless points out that the mobile gaming market alone will exceed $13 billion in 2013, according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers. That includes mobile games played on social websites and apps...and a whole lot of Angry Birds

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