Current Findings

  • Playing Action Video Games is Linked to Better Spatial Ability
    Thursday, June 25, 2009

    Results from a recent GTG Lab pilot study suggest that young adults who play action video games have better spatial ability than other type of gamers. Specifically, we recorded the types of video games participants played as well as the amount of time played each week. Action video game players performed significantly better than non-players on a measure of spatial ability, F(1, 25) = 11.80, p < .01, and Object Perspective, F(1, 25) = 9.01, p < .01. There was no effect of playing sports, puzzle or strategy games on any measure of spatial ability. These data partially support our hypothesis that certain components video games are related to increased spatial ability. However, these data are not causal: possibly higher spatial ability relates to more game playing due to it being easier for those participants and therefore more enjoyable.

    We are currently collecting data for another pilot study, the objective of which is to identify the components of a 3-D puzzle game (BlockOut) that influence gain in spatial ability. To test this hypothesis, 24 participants will play BlockOut for 10 hours under either a rotation-only or a maximal attention condition. It is predicted that participants in the attentional-limit condition will show more improvement on a battery of tests than participants in the rotation-only condition. Potential applications include targeted training approaches to improving spatial ability.