Remember when your mam used to tell you that video games account for nothing? Well, it turns out that playing action video games improves visuomotor-control tasks, such as driving.

Admit it, even if you didn’t have the means to prove it, you knew that playing racing games would someday make you a good driver. Lucky for you (and all of us, for that matter) there’s now a scientific study from New York University Shanghai that backs up the claim.

Published in the journal Psychological Science, the research says that playing action-based video games may boost players’ ability to coordinate incoming visual information with their motor control – a skill critical to many real-world behaviors, including driving.

“Our research shows that playing easily accessible action video games for as little as 5 hours can be a cost-effective tool to help people improve essential visuomotor control skills used for driving,” says researcher Li Li of New York University Shanghai, lead author on the study.

Using a driving simulator, the researchers compared the action video game players (who had played at least 5 hours per week over the previous 6 months), to non-action gamers participants. The result showed that the former group had better lane-keeping and visuomotor-control skills than the latter.

Moreover, the non-action gamers showed significant improvements after playing a driving game or a first-person-shooter for 5 or 10 hours, with the researchers’ model-driven analysis revealing that different action video games have different effects on the sensorimotor system underlying visuomotor control.

In conclusion, video games can improve driving, and if anyone states otherwise, give Lewis Hamilton as an example.


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