Researchers attack studies linking increased brain function to video games

VideoGame-controller

Published within Frontiers in Cognition, Walter R. Boot and Daniel P. Blakely of Florida State University as well as Daniel J. Simons of the University of Illinois called into doubt the methods used within studies that found video game players out performing non-gamers in cognition and perception. Cognition includes aspects like solving problems, attention, making decisions as well as linguistic skills while perception involves understanding the environment and awareness of surroundings. 

brain-scanWhile the previous research shows a clear lead in cognitive ability with people who play games regularly, the researchers don’t believe that games are the only possible cause for the increased cognition. It’s possible that people with increased levels of cognition are naturally drawn to video games due to the requirements of solving puzzles in games like Tomb Raider or deciding which path to take in games like Mass Effect. The group also found no link to video game training when trying to increase someone’s cognitive ability and weak control groups didn’t show any sign of improving even the most basic measures of attention after training with action games.

The researchers also found issues with the method that people were recruited into these studies. For instance, flyers posted around campus looking for people to participate in the study often asked for “expert” gamers, an implication that a research team wants the participants to perform well on difficult tests. While the FSU and University of Illinois researchers couldn’t replicate the results of previous studies, they still have hope for the concept of increasing cognition and perception through gaming. Within the same paper, the group created a list of best practices for future research teams and hopes others will be able to produce positive results. The group of researchers also stressed that people should be playing games for entertainment purposes rather than attempting to boost brain power. 

Gaming

Bayonetta 3 still in the works, set to launch on Nintendo Switch this year

Bayonetta 3 was notably absent from the latest Nintendo Direct presentation, raising concerns that the game will be delayed. A Nintendo executive clarified that the Nintendo Switch exclusive remains on track for a 2019 release.
Gaming

Kingdom Hearts 3 on Nintendo Switch reportedly never going to happen

Kingdom Hearts 3 for the Nintendo Switch will likely not happen, according to Game Informer's senior editor, Imran Khan. Square Enix is reportedly considering an alternative in bringing the franchise to the console.
Mobile

Like the iPhone, the Google Pixel 4 could have support for dual SIM cards

The Google Pixel 3 may still be a relatively new device, but already rumors and leaks have started emerging about the Google Pixel 4. Notably, it seems as though Google could add better support for dual SIM cards on the device.
Deals

Amazon drops prices on the Apple Watch Series 3 for Valentine’s Day

If you happen to be an iPhone owner, the Apple Series 3 smartwatch is the most compatible smartwatch for you. And now for a limited time the Apple Watch Series 3 is being offered to the public at a discounted price from Amazon.
Gaming

These are the best weapons for taking down mutants and bandits in Metro Exodus

Metro Exodus is a very difficult game, and choosing the right weapons is key for surviving the post-apocalyptic Russia that 4A Games has created. These are the best weapons in Metro Exodus.
Gaming

Exotic Masterwork Weapons are in Destiny 2. Here's how to upgrade

Destiny 2's new Masterwork gear offers a number of special bonuses. Here is what you need to know about it, including how to find the gear in the game and even create it yourself.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Gaming

How to keep a PS4 in your pocket with the PlayStation Mobile app

Sony built the PlayStation 4 with smartphone and mobile integration in mind. Take a look at our guide for connecting your smartphone or tablet to a PS4, so you can get the most out of the system while on the go.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Gaming

You're not a true fan without these Nintendo Switch exclusives

Who doesn't love a good Nintendo game? If you're looking for great first-party titles for your Nintendo Switch, take a look at our list of the very best exclusives available right now.
Gaming

Razer Game Store to shut down at end of February, less than a year after opening

The Razer Game Store will shut down on February 28, less than a year after it opened. Games purchased from the digital store will continue to work, but purchased keys will need to be used before its closure.
Gaming

Niantic promises to make Pokémon Go less troublesome for homeowners

Niantic is looking to settle the lawsuits filed by angry homeowners who were affected by hordes of Pokémon Go players trespassing on their properties. Niantic promised to resolve complaints within 15 days, among other things.
Gaming

These Xbox One exclusives are the definition of quality over quantity

Xbox One has a prestigious collection of handpicked titles that you can't play on other consoles. Here are the latest and greatest Xbox One exclusives, including some that are also available on PC