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Why Video Games are Great for Motor Skills and Hand-Eye Coordination

Updated on December 5, 2015

Video Games Help Surgeons Make Fewer Mistakes

Studies have shown that surgeons who play video games for at least three hours per week make about 37% fewer mistakes than their counterparts. The same study shows that they also perform surgical tasks 27% faster. A doctor who works at Beth Israel Medical Center said that he uses the same hand eye coordination to play video games as he does to perform various surgical procedures. In fact, most surgical procedures are now performed exclusively by simulation before a doctor is allowed to try his hand at a real patient. The value is that they learn, can make mistakes, and can train far faster and with greater results than doctors who can only practice on patients whose lives are at stake.

Video Games Teach Real-World Skills

New pilot training programs, especially those of the Air Force, require pilots to play up to 1000 hours of simulated flight before they have achieved full pilot status. Pilots in the Air Force use simulation for up to 1000 hours before they will fly an actual aircraft. In fact, it is much more cost effective for a pilot to train using video game simulation than it is for them to fly an actual plane. Small planes can cost up to $300 for just one hour, while larger military craft can cost up to ten thousand for just one hour of flight time. And, as fuel prices increase, this cost only goes up. Also, it has been found that pilots trained in simulation can learn about events that they would not learn about in regular flight, unless they encountered an actual emergency. In this way, they can be much better prepared for stressful or emergency situations.

Video Games Versus Sports

Take a game of baseball, for example. In a game of baseball, the player must spend most of the game standing around. Unless he is up to bat, or out on the field, a baseball player hardly moves at all. His only thought is when he is up next to bat and he doesn’t even have to pay attention to the action of the game to be involved. However, in a video game, even a video game where the gamer plays baseball, the gamer is constantly thinking, constantly moving, constantly plotting and planning. There is never a free moment and their brain is continually stimulated as a result. The actions required to play a video game also enhance a person’s ability to reason and take action far better than real-life sports because of this involvement. Because of this, they gain improved hand eye coordination and enhanced fine motor skills.

Video Games and Visual Capacity

People who play video games have a much better visual capacity than the attentiveness required to drive a car, by more than 40 percent! This means that a person who has played video games would be better able to act when a child runs out on the street in front of their car than a driver who has not played action video games. Not only would they act faster, but their actions would be better thought out, and they would be far less likely to act out of sheer desperation because they would have the visual capacity to see and decide what to do.

Video Games and Attention Span

A study by NASA has shown that video game players also have an increased attention span. This has become important in helping children with attention deficit disorder (ADD) by teaching them how to control their brain wave patterns and maintain focus. This process has become increasingly important as not all children respond well to the drugs required to assist them with the management of ADD or ADHD. If parents have the option of video games for mental rehab and stability versus mediation that might not work, might make their children sick, or might make their children dependent on that medication for the rest of their lives—which would be the better choice?

Video Games and Rehabilitation

Action video games have been shown to be a useful tool in rehabilitating visually impaired patients. The action required by both hands and eyes while playing video games triggers functions in the brain that cannot be triggered as effectively by any other action. For soldiers and people who have experienced trauma to their vision, playing video games has become an effective solution to retrain the body and brain how to function together.

A study done by “Nature” magazine found that people who play action video games can track 30% more objects than non video game players. They can read faster, respond faster, and view situations more fully to act faster. This means that not only do they have an increased mental and visual capacity, but they have trained their brains and bodies to act much quicker in stressful or life threatening situations.

Video Games Used to Train Combat Soldiers

Action video games are important in training soldiers for combat. Not only can soldiers practice their skills in simulation, but playing video games will help train their brains to watch for visual cues as to what may happen in real life. For example, when soldiers play “call of Duty” or any other soldier simulation game, they learn to visually scan their environments and pay attention to detail in a manner than simply cannot be trained in real life. Soldiers need to learn to detect things within their environment at any time in any unknown location and by playing action video games, they can attune their brains to be quicker at accessing this ability.

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