Study: Video games make you a better driver

Study: Video games make you a better driver image

Text: / Photos: Kelvin Christian Go | posted August 03, 2016 14:48

Improves reflexes and coordination

The success of virtual to reality racing programs like Nissan GT Academy makes it clear that video game drivers can indeed become very good racing drivers. Now, according to a university, it appears that playing video games can also make a person better behind the wheel in everyday driving.

According to a recent study conducted by the University of Hong Kong's Department of Psychology,  they claimed that by playing video games in as little as five hours can improve visuomotor-control (the more common of which is eye-hand coordination) skills that are used for driving.

The researchers looked for connections between playing video games and visuomotor skills. For 6 months, they studied the difference between a group that played action games for 5 to 10 hours per week and a group who did not. Driving games proved that gamers were better in keeping their real vehicles in lane despite the crosswinds.

Also, they learned that only a few hours is required in achieving positive results. Two groups of non-gamers played Mario Kart (racing game) and Roller Coaster Tycoon (strategy game) for 10 hours. And in just 5 hours, Mario Kart players performed better in their visuomotor control compared with the Roller Coaster Tycoon players.

This study was not limited for driving/racing games. According to researchers, after playing the Unreal Tournament, participants with no action gaming experience improved with their visuomotor control. These 2 kinds of action games had different effects on their players, which suggests that in the end, the effect depends upon the players intake of these games.

"The differing effects of driving and first person shooter (FPS) video games on the sensorimotor suggest that for experienced drivers, who have stable control but need to improve their ability to predict input error signals, training with FPS rather than driving video games is more effective in contrast, for novice drivers who are still struggling with obtaining stable control, training with driving rather than FPS video games is more helpful"