Need to Finish Homework Quick? Warm Up with an Action Game

December 14, 2009 -

A Wheaton College psychology professor has released findings from a study which compares how action games versus strategy games impacted a participant’s ability to perform tasks.

As detailed on NewsWise, Rolf Nelson, who specializes in human visual perception, had subjects play either Unreal Tournament (an entry in the action genre) or Portal (a puzzle-solving/strategy game) sandwiched  between chores designed to measure speed and accuracy. Those who played the action game were able to perform their task faster, but with less accurate results, while the strategy game induced more accurate, yet slower responses.

Nelson explained how the research might be relevant to real-life, particularly for students:

If they’re playing an action game and then switch to homework, they may try to blaze through their homework at the cost of making mistakes. Or if they play strategy games, they may work slowly, but turn in more accurate work. In fact, it is striking how dramatically these strategies can be shifted by a single hour of video-game play.

Nelson also believes that other studies continued reliance on first-person shooter type game to measure perceptual effects might be off base:

…it is misleading to base conclusions about video games in general on a single genre, just as it would be misleading to base one's conclusions about the effects of television by considering only crime shows.

Full study results are published in the current edition (Volume 38) of the journal Perception. An abstract is available online here.


Comments

Re: Need to Finish Homework Quick? Warm Up with an Action ...

 I actually giggled reading the first couple lines of this. I'm a Wheaton graduate and Prof. Nelson's classes were excellent. He's a very intelligent guy, I've been waiting to hear more about his research on this topic for some time. It certainly does raise some interesting questions about the varying effects of different game genres. Performing different kinds of tasks engage different parts of our mind, so it stands to reason different games do as well.

Re: Need to Finish Homework Quick? Warm Up with an Action ...

Anything that helps stimulate the mind will automaticly help you if what you need to do next requires extreme thought. I also reccomend a quick round of Tetris.

Re: Need to Finish Homework Quick? Warm Up with an Action ...

This looks to be a very well thought out study.  The games they picked were really good for this.  In UT you always have to be running around and in the action, in Portal you always have to solve puzzles.  

 

If they picked something like Call of Duty the gameplay would vary too much.  Sometimes you're sneaking around being patient and precise and other times you're running and gunning relying on quick reflexes and instinct.  

http://www.eliteownage.com/nice

Re: Need to Finish Homework Quick? Warm Up with an Action ...

I'll have to take a look at that study when I get home from work.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: Need to Finish Homework Quick? Warm Up with an Action ...

I have an even better homework strategy:  Take that hour you were going to spend playing an action or strategy game, and use it to do your homework.

Re: Need to Finish Homework Quick? Warm Up with an Action ...

I think you're missing the point....

It isnt just homework that is affected. Next time you have an exam, play a few rounds of Starcraft before you leave for it.

Re: Need to Finish Homework Quick? Warm Up with an Action ...

Or maybe study a bit more?

Re: Need to Finish Homework Quick? Warm Up with an Action ...

I love this article because this is the college I am currently attending. I was hoping this would end up here. I have heard about Nelson's research and the coauthor, Ian, has been good friend of mine since my freshman year. I am so glad this paper got published because it is great to see something that looks at the effects of videogames in a political vacuum. I am curious what other games would do in terms of effects. Unreal Tournament and Portal are both FPS. What if they tried a more intense strategy game like the Total War Series or Civilization IV? Then again there could also be problems of finding people who dont just have issues with those types of games and lack the patience or temperament to enjoy them.

Re: Need to Finish Homework Quick? Warm Up with an Action ...

I would have thought the Total War and Civ series would support the "slow and methodical" approach. After all, it's hard to imagine a strategy game more about slow and methodical than Civ! It can take hours before you even realise your new city wasn't placed in the smartest of areas!

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.
 
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Have you visited a video game arcade in the last year?:

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james_fudgeThere aren't many left in America08/21/2014 - 1:50am
MechaTama31I sure have. Dorky's barcade in Tacoma, WA.08/20/2014 - 5:56pm
Matthew WilsonI have not been to a arcade in years. I know arcades are still big in japan.08/20/2014 - 5:38pm
Sleaker@AE - Ah no it's called GroundKontrol - I was just referring to it as a Bar-Arcade.08/20/2014 - 4:39pm
Andrew EisenStill looking for confirmation that High Moon Studios (dev behind the PS3/360 versions) isn't working on it.08/20/2014 - 4:38pm
ZenGotcha.08/20/2014 - 4:37pm
Andrew EisenI already updated the story with it!08/20/2014 - 4:36pm
Zenhttp://www.gonintendo.com/s/235574-treyarch-isn-t-working-call-of-duty-advanced-warfare-for-wii-u-either08/20/2014 - 4:36pm
ZenLet me send the link for the Tweet as well...they state Treyarch is not working on it. Grabbing it now.08/20/2014 - 4:34pm
Andrew EisenWhere does it say that "NO dev is working on it"?08/20/2014 - 4:33pm
ZenHere's the link for my last comment: http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/08/20/call-of-duty-advanced-warfare-not-coming-to-wii-u08/20/2014 - 4:24pm
ZenWell, Call of Duty is skipping Wii U completely it seems...they updated that NO dev is working on it. Great way to just skip a market.08/20/2014 - 4:24pm
Andrew EisenYeah, Dave and Busters back in 2011 was the last time for me.08/20/2014 - 4:16pm
ZenWell, I tried lol. We just got a Dave and Busters on the beach but haven't been there yet...may go this weekend.08/20/2014 - 3:52pm
Andrew EisenIt's called The Bar-Arcade? Missed opportunity. I would have gone with Barcade.08/20/2014 - 3:25pm
SleakerThe Bar-Arcade however did have a lot of good pinball machines, they were however always taken as the place was packed..08/20/2014 - 1:17pm
Sleakerso I've been to an Arcade-Bar, not that great of a place has some okay machines, but generally over-packed. And then all the kid-friendly ones have is ticket-games nothing actually good unfortunately :(08/20/2014 - 1:14pm
Andrew EisenIf it has an area dedicated to arcade machines, I'd say it counts. Arcade machine in your house though, nope.08/20/2014 - 12:16pm
ZenDoes it count if you have actual arcade machines in your house?08/20/2014 - 12:01pm
E. Zachary KnightWith the current poll, I guess it all depends on how one defines "arcade". If Chuck E Cheese or similar multipurpose businesses count, then that is a yes for me.08/20/2014 - 11:59am
 

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