Video Games and Hand-Eye Coordination

Video games are always given a bad name for being too violent and wasting your time, but recent studies could prove that video games, especially those involving fast responses and action. Multiple studies have shown a direct correlation between the use of action video games and an improvement in sensory and motor skills.

The Tech Times talks about an experiment conducted by graduate students of the University of Toronto, which involved pitting 18 gamers (those who had been playing action games for at least 2 hours, 3 times a week) against 18 non-gamers. Both groups of people had to play a game which required them to use the computer mouse to track a small square on the screen that would move around in a complicated and repeated pattern. At first, neither of the groups had an advantage over their sensory and motor skills, however, after a while, the group of gamers improved significantly compared to the group of non-gamers. This shows that people who play more action video games are able to cultivate better sensory and motor skills and have an advantage in learning patterns.

This brings up the many advantageous uses of video games in society. An interesting aspect to this is to use video games to improve the responses and hand-eye coordination of surgeons. A study conducted in 2007 by Dr. James Rosser Jr. and his colleagues showed that surgical residents and medical students who played action video games performed better on the simulators that provided training for laparoscopic surgery. They found that surgeons who played video games for more than three hours a week made 37% fewer errors, were 27% faster, and scored 42% better on laparoscopic surgery compared to those who rarely every played video games. Playing video games before a surgery also helped the surgeons to reduce errors and complete the operation faster than their peers who did not play video games prior to the surgery.

The different studies conducted show that there is a profound impact of video games on sensory and motor skills. If this can be incorporated in training surgeons, or helping students understand specific concepts, I believe that it would definitely show a drastic improvement in their skills.

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2 Responses to Video Games and Hand-Eye Coordination

  1. xxz5167 says:

    After reading this post, I feel somewhat dramatic. When I was very young, my parents don’t allow me to play video games. Many reasons are listed including the eye problem and wasting time, even the addictive. I do admit all of these are right, but video games must have its way to live. Except for the hand-eye coordination, people have fun. This is probably meaningless, but it’s okay to be meaningless sometimes. Simply have fun a necessary process in our lives. Also, it improves our communication skills. I don’t fear to do any public speaking now just because I love communication among people and talk about my ideas is very cool. Since everything is a two-sided sword, we need to focus on how to maximize the benefit and minimize the bad part.

  2. msh5379 says:

    I’m a pretty avid gamer and would say that I have a relatively good hand to eye coordination. I’m really into twitch, and fast skill based games like Counter Strike, Unreal tournament, FIFA, etc. And would say that those skills have carried over to better and faster reflexes from trivial tasks to playing video games. I often pay great attention to detail when I’m watching sports like tennis. And funnily enough, I’ve learned the basics of playing tennis just from watching tennis games. When I enrolled in a Tennis course, my coach thought I was an intermediate player.

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