Over the last six years, there have been a number of studies where they place an individual in an fMRI and having them play a video game while measuring a variety of measures of cognitive activity. One that intrigues me happened a number of years ago at the University of Southern California, where subjects played a game called “Tactical Ops”. Normally, subjects stuck inside a pounding MRI machine can handle only a max of 20 minutes before a break. In this case, an hour later the players were still going strong.
The actual results of tracking the blood flow and measuring the dopamine levels is not nearly as important as what this says about attention and the power of intermittent reinforcement.
On a larger level, most studies have concluded that while there are definitely down-sides to digital game addiction, playing certain games can truly improve pattern recognition, systems thinking, patience, and peripheral vision.
Rick’s Recommended Games: