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article imageStudy: Violent video games provide brain boost

By Elliot Meszaros     Apr 24, 2010 in Technology
Video games containing violence, such as Resident Evil and Call of Duty, make players smarter, new research from the Netherlands suggests.
Shoot-to-kill video games apparently improve quick-thinking and allow players to cope better with everyday life, the Sun reports.
Claims that players' "reaction time had increased" as well as the improvement of their "hand-eye co-ordination" have also been made.
Assistant professor of Leiden University's psychology department, Dr Lorenza Colzato, said: "Playing video games helps the natural reflexes, it makes players more responsive and able to switch between different tasks.”
"This type of thinking is very practical for the modern lifestyle where people are doing so many things at the one time," said Colzato.
The new research claims that parents should not only allow but also encourage their children to enjoy a bit of virtual blood-and-guts, countering the wide-spread opinion that this type of game will turn children into violent individuals.
"They may be checking their email, then taking a phone call. They need to be flexible. If someone likes violent video games it does not mean they will engage in anti-social behaviour. Parents should not be scared to let their children play video games," Colzato added.
People in fast-paced jobs would also benefit from utilizing skills learned from video games, stated Dr Colzato, who even went as far to say that violent games could actually help the elderly fight off signs of aging.
The team of researchers also propose that nursing homes should have gaming consoles installed to benefit the elderly.
"If elderly people had a lot of problems with their thinking they could play videogames to improve their minds," said Dr Lorenza Colzato.
"This could become a common nursing home activity; it would be a successful strategy."
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