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Video halo

Posted on March 25, 2010

The idea that playing video games could actually be good for you excites people, particularly young men.

As a result, the research conducted by Assistant Professor of Psychology Rolf Nelson about the impact that video game playing has on gamers continues to attract attention.

Men's Health Today caught up with Professor Nelson recently to talk with him about the research. The result? A feature article on their web site, and on more than 150 news web sites across the United States, emphasizes the positive aspects of his studies. Here's how they introduced the subject:

Could there be benefits to playing “Halo” for hours on end … besides getting really good at “Halo”?

Over the past few years, research has shown that video games can give you an edge at some real-world skills. Actual, useful skills, stuff that will come in handy at times other than when you happen to come across an energy sword.

Professor Nelson's research findings, which have been published in the journal Perception, indicate that playing different kinds of video games changes the way people think and approach their surroundings. For example, people who play fast-paced "shooter" games tend to react more quickly immediately after playing those games. They will sacrifice accuracy for the sake of speed, Nelson says. Meanwhile, strategy games encourage greater reflection, encouraging slower response times but greater accuracy.

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