The Effect of Video Game Playing on Reaction Time
In the fast-paced world of the twenty first century, time and speediness is essential. From day to day decisions or reacting to save oneself from danger, a reduced reaction time is crucial. However, an increased amount of errors is usually associated with a reduced reaction time. Can more preparation and training via an increased amount of time spent while playing video games reduce reaction time? We compared the average reaction time for a visual stimulus for non-video gamers and avid video gamers; and without doubt, video gaming had a positive effect on reaction time.
Playing video games demands the abilities to process information at insanely fast speeds and to respond swiftly, which requires players to react more quickly than what the average day lifestyle offers. And if the players fail to react instantaneously to these visual cues, then the outcome of the game will not turn out so favorably. So obviously, players are encouraged to reduce their reaction times. However, in video games, accuracy can also be an issue; these avid video game players also need to be precise in responding quickly by pressing the correct button on the game controller.
Dye et al. (2009) have also cited that subjects need to be mildly interested in the task that they are carrying out for reaction times to reduce, and that monotonous activity will not lead to a decreased reaction time. If subjects are trained to do a specific task over an extended period of time (like a video game), one may reason that a subject may not actually have a reduced reaction time, but instead he or she has become accustom to the objective of the game and has become familiar with more effective methods or strategies to defeat the video game. Therefore, reaction time can most effectively be measured in new tasks that subjects have not had previous experience to the test or to the stimuli that the subjects are being exposed to. Dye also has found that avid video gamers are more likely to be impulsive or aggressive when reacting to given stimuli. Again, this could reduce the precision of accuracy and successfulness of the player. Frequent video-game players have also been reported to show improved hand–eye coordination, increased visual processing in peripheral vision, a longer attention span (Dye et al. 2009), efficiently perform dual tasks, track multiple moving objects at once, and process segments of briefly presented visual stimuli (Green & Bavelier, 2007).
Our hypothesis was that avid video gamers have become accustomed to reacting faster and developing fine motor skills. Therefore, our group predicted video gamers will have faster reaction times.
However other research has been done in where video games do not have as much of a positive impact on reaction times as expected. Especially in older adults, playing more than average amount of video games can result in cognitive decline (Basak et al. 2008). So, it would...