"We investigated an important aspect of this ﬁeld that has not yet been empirically addressed: the role of video game genre. Our comparison of two video game player groups of speciﬁc genres (ﬁrst-person shooter and real-time strategy) indicates that cognitive abilities (measured by task switching and multiple object tracking) may be differentially enhanced depending on the genre of video game being played."Dobrowolski, Hanusz, Sobczyka, Skorko, & Wiatrow, 2015
Often, video game research just clumps all Gamers together into one category: Video Game Players. This resarch is interesting because it pits First Person Shooter gamers against Real-Time Strategy gamers. It turns out that while both sets of gamers have faster processing speed than a control group of Non-Gamers, the Real-Time Strategy gamers had even faster reaction time speeds in a visual processing task. It is critical to understand how different types of video games have different effects on human cognition, and that's exactly our goal here at PlayIQ.
"Video game training augments GM in brain areas crucial for spatial navigation, strategic planning, working memory and motor performance going along with evidence for behavioral changes of navigation strategy. The presented video game training could therefore be used to counteract known risk factors for mental disease such as smaller hippocampus and prefrontal cortex volume in, for example, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia and neurodegenerative disease."Kühn, Gleich, Lorenz, Lindenberger, & Gallinat, 2013
Playing Super Mario 64 can actually increase your brain volume! In this study, people played about 50 minutes per day for a total of 50 hours (in Super Mario lingo, that's an average of 37.4 Stars total). Using fMRI, the researchers found increased gray matter volume in the hippocampus -- a part of the brain responsible for memory functioning. At PlayIQ, we are interested in finding out psychological changes for all different types of video games.
Bavelier D, Green CS, Pouget A, Schrater P (2012) Brain plasticity through the life span: Learning to learn and action video games. Neuroscience 35: 391–416. doi: 10.1146/annurev-neuro-060909-152832
Feng J, Spence I, Pratt J (2007) Playing an action game reduces gender differences in spatial cognition. Psychological Science 18: 850–855. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2007.01990.x
Glass, B.D., Maddox, W.T., & Love, B.C. (2013). Real-Time Strategy Game Training: Emergence of a Cognitive Flexibility Trait. PLOS ONE, 8(8), e70350.