More research on the effect of video games

S. Shyam Sundar, professor of film, video and media studies at Penn State has been doing some interesting original research on the effects of video games on an individual’s creativity. “Video games are not just for entertainment alone. We are trying to figure out how they can aid in education as well.”  “You need defocused attention for being creative. When you have low arousal and are negative, you tend to focus on detail and become more analytical.”

The subjects of the experiment, 98 undergraduate and graduate students, were asked to play a popular video game, Dance Dance Revolution, at various levels of complexity. The students took a standard creativity test after playing. When the researchers ran a statistical analysis of the emotional variables and the students’ creativity scores, they found two totally different groups with high scores.

Players with a high degree of arousal and positive mood were most likely to have new ideas for problem solving. The statistical tests also revealed that creativity scores were highest for players with low arousal and a negative mood. In real-life terms, the study appears to indicate that after playing the game, happy or sad people are most creative, while angry or relaxed people are not.

“We are not looking just at creative games, but what emotional elements of games can serve as an engine to spark creative thought and new problem solving skills,” said Sundar, who is also a founder of the Penn State Media Effects Research Laboratory.

1 Comment

  1. Aren’t there already many examples of schools using a game to make children more interested in a large variety of education?

    I think Dr.S. Shyam Sundar should make a trip to some schools first.

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