Researchers: Even violent video games can be learning tools

Panelists discussed how people learn and how games can be engineered to be even more educational.
Panelists discussed how people learn and how games can be engineered to be even more educational.

You’re at the front lines shooting Nazis before they shoot you. Or, you’re a futuristic gladiator in a death match with robots. Either way, you’re playing a video game—and you might be improving your vision and other brain functions, according to research presented May 27 at a New York University conference on games as a learning tool.

“People that play these fast-paced games have better vision, better attention, and better cognition,” said Daphne Bavelier, an assistant professor in the department of brain and cognitive science at the University of Rochester.

Bavelier was a presenter at a daylong symposium on the educational uses of video and computer games from NYU’s Games for Learning Institute. The event was another indication that electronic games are gaining legitimacy in the classroom. (The University of Wisconsin-Madison also hosts an annual conference on educational gaming.)…Read More

Supreme Court to hear case on video violence

The Supreme Court agreed April 26 to decide whether California and six other states can forbid the sale to minors of violent video games that show images of humans being maimed, killed, or sexually assaulted, reports the Los Angeles Times. California’s law, like all the others, has been blocked based on a free-speech challenges lodged by the video gaming industry. But in something of a surprise, the high court said it would hear California’s appeal and consider reviving the laws. The move came less than a week after the justices, in a 8-1 ruling, struck down a federal law on free-speech grounds that made it a crime to sell videos of illegal acts of animal cruelty. Based on last week’s ruling, the justices might have been expected to deny California’s appeal and allow the law to expire. Other states that have enacted laws similar to California’s include Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Washington. The justices will hear the case of Schwarzenegger v. Video Software Dealers in the fall…

Click here for the full story

…Read More