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MAGAZINE: PERSONALITY

Do video games make you smarter?

Who said that video game boxes caused epilepsy in children? A study conducted by the very serious Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) tends to prove the contrary. Close to 800 children aged between 7 and 12 years old were examined, questioned and tested during a one-year period. Those charming sweethearts who remain “glued” to their “joystick” for hours are allegedly more intelligent than others.

If we were to believe what researchers have found, then those gifted in Play Station or Game Cube possess a capacity of muscular coordination and faculties in concentrations similar to the one of a Marion Jones or of a Stéphane Diagana. A gift for concentration, which, besides those linked to athletics, can also be found amongst astronauts or fighter pilots. The result? Video game fans, would apparently have more friends, work harder at school and would therefore be ahead of their classmates, who lag behind still obsessed with GI Joes figurines! A child who plays is not a passive one.

Scientists from the ESRC rely on statistics gathered from Colombia University, which showed the success encountered by the students in their studies, when they regularly engaged in video game playing. The time spent by video games “addicts” was equivalent to the amount of time spent not watching television.

“The child who plays is not a passive one wasting his life in front of the TV”, state the researchers. By watching less television, the child finds himself less exposed to violent or sexual scenes, which are sometimes found to be linked to trauma in those aged under ten. A game is basically an educational tool. And when it is on video, its complexity leads to a large span of attention. Scientists nevertheless specify that the results of their study are based on an average use of video games. This is to say between an hour and half to two hours a day. More than that and there wouldn’t be enough time left to spend on homework!



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