Science Daily is quickly becoming one of my favorite science journals to read online. Like my previous post, this one reinforces my love of being nerdy. This article on Science Daily talks about the gamer’s ability to process visual input quicker than those who do not play games regularly. I’ll go ahead and credit my childhood and teen years of constant gaming with creating a solid foundation for a career in art.
Anyway, the article states:
Each participant was run though a visual sensory memory task that flashed a circular arrangement of eight letters for just one-tenth of a second. After a delay ranging from 13 milliseconds to 2.5 seconds, an arrow appeared, pointing to one spot on the circle where a letter had been. Participants were asked to identify which letter had been in that spot.
At every time interval, intensive players of action video games outperformed non-gamers in recalling the letter.
Earlier research by others has found that gamers are quicker at responding to visual stimuli and can track more items than non-gamers. When playing a game, especially one of the “first-person shooters,” a gamer makes “probabilistic inferences” about what he’s seeing — good guy or bad guy, moving left or moving right — as rapidly as he can.
Appelbaum said that with time and experience, the gamer apparently gets better at doing this. “They need less information to arrive at a probabilistic conclusion, and they do it faster.”
Makes sense. I know when I’m walking in any metropolitan downtown area, I navigate the crowds very easily, seeing who will probably slow/disrupt my pace, whether I really can run across the street faster than that car (I haven’t been hit yet!), if I should do a “Mario jump” over the double-wide stroller that is standing between me and my way home, etc.
I am also reminded of this Seinfeld episode where undefeated Frogger champion George Constanza crosses the street in the exact manner of the game:
It’s good to be a nerd.