Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Stirring the Grey Matter

Predicting the good, bad and ugly impacts of computer gaming is keeping a lot of brain researchers in business. When your subject of inquiry is a market involving many billions of dollars, you're onto something.

As expected with something so absorbing as games, the positive and negatives indicated are wide-ranging, covering everything from better hand-eye coordination in surgeons to associating compulsive gaming with being overweight, introverted and prone to depression. As a drumbeater for increasing moments of joy, I see fun on screens as a big positive, and figure the range of checks and balances on modern lifestyles will expand as the research vampires and others sink their teeth into these subjects.

I like the outcome of a November-reported study from Michigan State University's Children and Technology Project. It appears almost any computer game boosts a child’s creativity. Gender, race and kind of game didn't enter into it. However - in the study - using cellphones, the Internet or computers for other purposes did not affect creativity. Hold the phone, there’s a lot more to be discovered about games as the Screen revolution rages.