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Videogaming Keeps the Brain From Aging

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the i-shall-live-forever! dept.

Games 255

Ant wrote to mention a Globe and Mail article stating that videogames keep the mind young and help in quick focusing on different tasks. "A body of research suggests that playing video games provides benefits similar to bilingualism in exercising the mind. Just as people fluent in two languages learn to suppress one language while speaking the other, so too are gamers adept at shutting out distractions to swiftly switch attention between different tasks. A new study of 100 university undergraduates in Toronto has found that video gamers consistently outperform their non-playing peers in a series of tricky mental tests. If they also happened to be bilingual, they were unbeatable."

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Awesome (4, Funny)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 8 years ago | (#14698733)

Do you know what this means? The "Hot Coffee Scene" is good for you!

Re:Awesome (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14698743)

And this also explains why all those English speaking Asian gamers were so much better than me! Time to learn another language...

Re:Awesome (1)

Indras (515472) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699169)

No, I think this means that video games = formaldehyde for your brain cells. Keeps it from ever aging.

Re:Awesome (3, Funny)

Valdoran (887940) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699259)

Oh, hello Jack Thompson. Didn't know you had a /. account.

No camping! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14698737)

Just as people fluent in two languages learn to suppress one language while speaking the other, so too are gamers adept at shutting out distractions to swiftly switch attention between different tas--

Yeah, whatever. Dude!! Check out this score! w00t!

Now.. what were you saying?

Dumb and stupider (1)

Neuroelectronic (643221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699225)

I've been getting progressivly dumber ever since i stopped playing video games. I used to program in assembly and C for fun. Now all I do is sit on my ass and drink beer and smoke marijuana. Damn you Super Nintendo.

Girlfriends Have Known This For Years (5, Funny)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 8 years ago | (#14698741)

Plenty of complaints about immature guys have been heard over the years.

It's True (5, Insightful)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 8 years ago | (#14698742)

You can prove it yourself just go on any counterstrike server even the adults act like thay are 12 years old

Re:It's True (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14698784)

d00d, thatz soooo ghey, OMG!

Or Maybe... (5, Insightful)

slarrg (931336) | more than 8 years ago | (#14698744)

People who are capable of changing tasks quickly enjoy playing videogames.

Re:Or Maybe... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14699477)

Precisely the point that my Psych. teacher tries to hammer into our brains:

coincidence != causality.

If only half of the studies out there realized this fact.

Hmmm (1)

khedron the jester (888418) | more than 8 years ago | (#14698746)

I'm not so sure about this study - I am bilingual and play computer games, yet I have serious trouble remembering what my mother told me ten seconds ago. I don't think I'd do so well at the harder mental tasks...

Re:Hmmm (1)

darkain (749283) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699116)

of course you dont remember. you where too busy blocking out that "distraction" while playing your video games.

I rule! (3, Funny)

lastberserker (465707) | more than 8 years ago | (#14698749)

I'm bilingual (2 1/4 to be correct) gamer, so $subj :-)

Re:I rule! (1)

TERdON (862570) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699323)

Bah. I'm trilingual (3 1/2 actually if I count as you do, I only really count the languages I'm fluent in). And I play video games, too... ;-)

Re:I rule! (1)

denominateur (194939) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699342)

I speak 5 languages fluently and play videogames, so go hide in your cave :)

Re:I rule! (4, Funny)

struppi (576767) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699357)

Let's see... Java, C++, German, English - makes 4

Re:I rule! (1)

TERdON (862570) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699406)

If you insist on counting like that you already lost... Swedish, English, German, Spanish, and the ones in the category you counted but I didn't: Object Pascal (Delphi), Java, 6809 Assembly, Omron Ladder, Omron Mnemonics, C, C++, Ada, C#, Matlab, AutoMod simulation language and last but not least, a little bit of basic VHDL...

Re:I rule! (1)

Xymor (943922) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699570)

I, for one, welcome our new Polyglot-Gamer Overlord.

Ahaaa! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14698750)

I knew I should keep playing video games all night instead of studying...I'm keeping myself alive longer, so I can study more!

Exercise (3, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 8 years ago | (#14698755)

"The [video game players] are much harder to mislead, to trick," Prof. Bialystok said.

Well OK, games are often about solving problems and getting around situations which try to trick you.

I think real world exercises would be of equal benefit, assuming that the exposure is broad enough, but this at least confirms that simulations are a good way of training people, which has been understood in aerospace since the 1960's.

what about playing videogames in two languages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14698757)

that would be twice better

conversly... (1)

Qnaal (730656) | more than 8 years ago | (#14698758)

who's saying that the people who play video games' brains work like that because people whose brains work like that also like to play video games?

(read it again, it makes sense)

Re:conversly... (1)

talornin (745646) | more than 8 years ago | (#14698794)

I didn't have to read it twice. Got it on my first try. Guess this proves the article, as I am both bilingual and play video games! :D

\o/

Re:conversly... (1)

Mr Jazzizle (896331) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699396)

w00t! Me too! man, i love videogames

Re:conversly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14698948)

So... for you non-bilingual, non-gamers out there: correlation does not equal causation. :-)

wish it worked for me. (3, Interesting)

etheriel (620275) | more than 8 years ago | (#14698762)

weird. i'm bilingual, and i play videogames pretty often, but i have a lot of difficulty filtering out distractions.

And my whole life... (3, Funny)

xgadflyx (828530) | more than 8 years ago | (#14698771)

Now this study comes out...my whole life friends, family, and significant others thought I suffered from ADHD when really I'm just...

Re:And my whole life... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14699245)

xgadflyx? XGADFLYX! Pay attention when the other posters are speaking!

Serious, though...this reminds me of a brief suicidal fit I went through, during which I decided to play some videogames before killing myself. One 16-hour session later, those endearingly-blocky Syphon Filter 2 figures had completely usurped control of my visual cortex--and also caused me to forget what it was that had brought me to the brink.

the study i s ryte (5, Funny)

Mancat (831487) | more than 8 years ago | (#14698773)

i playd vidoe games all way thru hi scooll, and i faled a lota clases, and my parents kiked me out of home, but now even in my old age of 32 i feel yung @ haeart. so... i think they r ryte.. i thank vid. games for ervrything i have.. my gf i met on hallo xbox online, my dog (but ive been layuing lots of vid. games lately and i dont know hwhere he is), and my fun job @ teh bowling allie.

long liv vid. gamnes!@ keeping us yung 4 ever!

Re:the study i s ryte (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14698812)

The sad part is is that I didn't notice the horrible spelling and grammatical errors until the second line...

Re:the study i s ryte (1)

Lakedemon (761375) | more than 8 years ago | (#14698872)

Man, this is funny :D and right to the point, about our young generation...

The guy who modded you as troll is a fool or dense !

Re:the study i s ryte (1)

Nightspirit (846159) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699010)

This is the first, and only, time I have ever lol at anything on the internet. Good job.

Re:the study i s ryte (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14699596)

What's sad is I thought this was a regular slashdot post before reading the responses, I didn't even notice all of the spelling errors because my filters seem to turn off when I read slashdot comments.

Moral of the story (3, Funny)

prakslash (681585) | more than 8 years ago | (#14698776)

To stay young, play:

Halo: El Combate Ha Evolucionado

Actually... (3, Interesting)

l3prador (700532) | more than 8 years ago | (#14698783)

Prof. Bialystok first noticed bilingual children were proficient in blocking out irrelevant information about 20 years ago. When asked to identify a grammatically correct sentence, for example, both bilinguals and monolinguals are, by age 5, able to choose, "Apples grow on trees," over "Apple trees on grow" as the correct one. But when it came to asking "Apples grow on noses" versus "Apples nose on grow," only the bilingual children were able to choose the right answer. Although the first sentence is grammatically correct, monolingual children could not get over its silliness. "That's crazy," they'd shout, "You can't say that!"

Maybe this is good, maybe not. If this is training people to move on and solve the problem, even though they understand that there is a problem with the validity of the sentence, then it is a good thing. On the other hand, if they are able to do better because don't even notice the problem, then maybe it's not so good. I've seen plenty of times where everyone's so focused on solving a problem that they don't realize they're solving the wrong problem.

Re:Actually... (5, Interesting)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14698945)

I think it's because when you know only one language, it's hard to actually figure out what grammar is. When you learn to speak, you don't learn vocabulary, grammar and enunciation separately. You learn them all mixed together.

When you learn a second language, you are able to more easily identify the structural components of language (ie: grammar) when comparing the two side-by-side. A monolinguist will be more likely to assume that the grammar of his language is universal; a polylinguist will understand that grammar is subordinate to language.

Re:Actually... (1)

pyrotic (169450) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699078)

I've been bi-lingual since the age of 5, and my grammar sucks. I know my grammar is bad, because now I'm learning a 3rd language (Arabic) there are a whole bunch of grammar terms that I don't know. I think learning a language as a kid allows you to pick up grammar implicitly, that is, you don't need to be able to articulate what the grammatical rules of a language are. This is how you do sentences in this language, this is how that language does it. Kind of. But once you learn languages as an adult, you're expected to know grammatical rules explicitly. What does "subjunctive" mean again?

Re:Actually... (1)

koreaman (835838) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699349)

Whatever you're reading sucks. Every material I've ever seen for learning a language explains what "subjunctive" means, if indeed that language has a subjunctive mood.

Re:Actually... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14699022)

As a bilingual, I'll let you know that most people have apples growing on their noses. You monolingual guys simply lack the extra perspective to see them. Or something. Where do you think the expression apple of one's eye comes from? hint: on the nose

Btw, multilinguality is great for sex, too - just not in English ;-)

--
Insert foot icon here.

Re:Actually... (1)

GroeFaZ (850443) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699501)

Had the question been more ambigous, like, "Which of these sentences is correct?" without defining what "correct" meant, then you would have a point; but it hasn't and you don't (yet). The candidates were given a clearly defined problem "Which of these sentences is gramatically correct", where the researchers' goal was to find out who becomes distracted by something unrelated to the experiment. The silliness of the sentence was probabl just one of many ways how they could've done it.

Your point might still be valid, but it is a different question which was not the subject of the experiment. It might well be worth looking into, but without such a new experiment, one can't safely conclude what you suggested.

Hey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14698801)

This should be an advantage for the folks who live in countries that doesn't speak english natively, but as a second language. That's about 2 billion ppl... Quite a few of them are gamer, I'd suppose.

Woo (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 8 years ago | (#14698820)

I play games and speak three languages...
Does this mean my brain has started regressing and soon I will have the mental age of 5.

Re:Woo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14698862)

Does everyone like asking questions like this.

Re:Woo (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699398)

Yes, I'm pretty sure that's the case? ;-)

Re:Woo (1)

novus ordo (843883) | more than 8 years ago | (#14698865)

googoo gaga? gooo!

Re:Woo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14698875)

Perhaps you've already dipped below 5? j/k ;)

Not intended as insult but hey you asked for it! :)

Mental agility is a choice. Videogames help! (3, Interesting)

killdashnine (651759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14698822)

I personally play a ton of video games still in my mid-thirties and support this wholeheartedly. The thing about video games, to me, is that they constantly challenge your mind.

I remember a gentlemene that was in his seventies telling me once that he kept mentally spry simply by reading, doing puzzles, and the like. He said that most adults are effectively senile early on because they quit reading and generally idle in front of TV. TV bores me; it doesn't challenge you to do much of anything except look, so I'd imagine that ANYONE who plays any kind of games requiring use of their brain would be a step up on people who don't.

Anyway ... I play to be playing games until I can't see and hear them anymore. Hopefully in my old age we'll have decent VR and can simply "plug in" ;)

Re:Mental agility is a choice. Videogames help! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14699371)

Seems like you've been watching the wrong TV channels; switch to something more interesting about science, nature, and perhaps even history.

Did you know that the brown bear eats beatles larva and leaves? Beatles!!

Cause or Selection? (1)

BrianMarshall (704425) | more than 8 years ago | (#14698824)

It would not surprise me if playing video games was a good mental exercise for gamers. But surely there is selection going on as well. Gamers have a talent that makes them good at the "tricky mental tests".

I see this sort of thing all the time. A week or so ago, there was an article in the (Canadian) Globe and Mail about some study that indicated that shorter people live longer than taller people by (as I recall) 1.5 years per inch. I assume that this is at least partly genetic characteristices that, in some people, go together. But some guy was suggesting that you should feed your kids less so they don't grow as tall and therefore will presumable live longer. This idea seems.... potentially slanderous to comment upon.

A large sample of people will have an average of about 1.0 testicles apiece. If you have more than the average, you have a much greater chance of getting prostate cancer and male pattern baldness.

Apparently, people whose middle finger is not longer than their index finger are less likely to die from some cardiovascular disease. Would it help if I cut the ends of my middle fingers off?

Re:Cause or Selection? (2, Interesting)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 8 years ago | (#14698936)

It would not surprise me if playing video games was a good mental exercise for gamers. But surely there is selection going on as well. Gamers have a talent that makes them good at the "tricky mental tests".
You're right, they haven't proven causation. However they have a plausible mechanism (exercising the mind improves it). The alternative hypothesis (that people play games because they have certain mental strengths) seems less likely. Either way it'd be easy to establish causation in this case.
A week or so ago, there was an article in the (Canadian) Globe and Mail about some study that indicated that shorter people live longer than taller people by (as I recall) 1.5 years per inch. I assume that this is at least partly genetic characteristices that, in some people, go together. But some guy was suggesting that you should feed your kids less so they don't grow as tall and therefore will presumable live longer. This idea seems.... potentially slanderous to comment upon.
Classic confusion of correlation and causation, compounded by a lack of common sense.

Re:Cause or Selection? (1)

grimJester (890090) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699293)

A week or so ago, there was an article in the (Canadian) Globe and Mail about some study that indicated that shorter people live longer than taller people by (as I recall) 1.5 years per inch. I assume that this is at least partly genetic characteristices that, in some people, go together. But some guy was suggesting that you should feed your kids less so they don't grow as tall and therefore will presumable live longer. This idea seems.... potentially slanderous to comment upon.

Getting a bit off topic, but... Taller people are seen as more socially dominant, earn more, have better chances of getting leadership positions etc. A longer life wouldn't counterbalance that, imo. Add to that the potential problems with intentionally malnourishing the kids; might hamper their mental development.

Correlation not Causation (4, Insightful)

sallymander (932697) | more than 8 years ago | (#14698825)

Okay, so they surveyed 100 college students. Of gamers I know in college, a very large percentage tend to be engineers, and many of those tend to be Asian American...and speak a second language because of their heritage...and very likely came from families that really emphasized math and sciences. Most "mental tests" tend to lean in favor of that population.

Re:Correlation not Causation (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14698853)

Wow.. that might be the highest amount of stereotypes I've seen in one sentence in my entire life.

Re:Correlation not Causation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14699018)

In all likelihood....

* experimental - between subjects
* subjects are matached across groups. that is they look for confounds in the analyses (Why is it that Slashdot readers never quite understand that a field like cognitive psychology relies on statistical inference and as such most researchers are familiar with experimental design. Actually, as a general comment if you're going to criticize a study read the paper and not a newspaper summary.)
* most conclusions are drawn from cognitive tasks used to various aspects of memory, learning, and attention (they infact use a specific set of tasks)

I believe her research on language has been well received.

Re:Correlation not Causation (1)

grimJester (890090) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699274)

I agree with the part about correlation not equaling causation, but I think you're selling the scientists a bit short if you think they didn't notice most who did good on tests were asian. In addition, the claim was that gaming affects the results _as much as_ being bilingual. It's likely they compared bilingual gamers to bilingual non-gamers and so on.

Hear that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14698847)

That's the sound of all those annoying CS majors becoming MORE ANNOYING!

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14698850)

The PR script writers at the "Get the Facts" campaign lose their contract?

Jolt Cola! Builds Strong bones and Pearly White Teeths!

StudBull Condoms! See the pic of the hot babe on the package? *wink* Guar-un-teed!

Longer Mental Efficiency for Species (5, Interesting)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 8 years ago | (#14698851)

If this is true than this generation should prove to be more mentally healthy than previous generations into old age. Video games didn't exist for the Boomer's childhood and didn't hit mainstream till adolecence for Gen X. But Gen Y and later have had the availabilty of this sort of therapy since they were old enough to hold a joystick. This increased time should (in my theory at least) mean greater mental ability into old age than the pervious two generations.

I wonder if the type of game or level of difficulty have any effect either. I find today's games are a lot more complex than when I was young. Yet you still see young people able to master them. Perhaps this will enhance the effect due to the additional hand-eye coordination and problem solving skills needed to navigate in a modern first person shooter (where vertical/rotational perspective has to be tracked independently of actual character movement) vs. the simple side scrollers we started on (like Super Mario Bros).

Like the idea long ago that 65 years was very old age one would be lucky to make it to, perhaps someday the idea of the mentally feeble old man will be tossed as people stay sharp in mind far into their twilight years.

bah -- nothing new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14699024)

"later have had the availabilty of this sort of therapy since they were old enough to hold a joystick."

Every male since time immemorial has been able to "hold a joystick" starting at around puberty.

"Like the idea long ago that 65 years was very old age one would be lucky to make it to, perhaps someday the idea of the mentally feeble old man will be tossed as people stay sharp in mind far into their twilight years."

As people age, they tend to lose mental capacity due to serious physical problems: small strokes, loss of neurons from diseases, etc. Mental exercise isn't going to protect you from that, although it does mean that you can cope and route around the damage a little longer.

Interesting, although gamers already know this... (5, Interesting)

Max Nugget (581772) | more than 8 years ago | (#14698876)

Watch any older adult try to pick up a game controller and play a videogame. *IF* they manage to get the hang of using the controller, they typically are overwhelmed by the sheer complexity of the modern videogame and the number of things they must simultaneously (and QUICKLY) keep track of. This has always been, IMHO, at least anecdotal evidence that videogames clearly develop a certain set of mental skills that very few other activities develop so effectively.

Re:Interesting, although gamers already know this. (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 8 years ago | (#14698898)

overwhelmed by the sheer complexity of the modern videogame and the number of things they must simultaneously

There must be a disipline of user interface undesign within game developent. I must remember this when I am interviewing new UI designers.

My point (if I have a point) is that games are not like any other software, and increasingly are not like other things which employ UI design principles.

Re:Interesting, although gamers already know this. (4, Interesting)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699136)

I think you misunderstand. The complexity doesn't come from the interface.

Take my father, for example. He's been driving since he was in high-school, so I'm pretty sure he's caught onto that. He's got an IQ of like 140 or so, so he's no idiot.

Now, place a Playstation 1 controller in his hand and let him play a racing game. Pick an easy one with just the analog stick, brake and gas. (Yes, I've done this.)

The result is pathetic. He actively WANTS to play it. He asked for it. He repeatedly runs into the walls, forgets which controls are which (There's only 2!) and generally just fails at the game. He played for a few hours with the same results. He asked me like 3 or 4 times over the first hour or so what the controls were. (Admittedly, the last time was a confirmation, not a question.)

This is something any kid I can name would be able to do quite easily. He did not grow up with video games of any sort, and does not touch-type.

He's an amazing industrial engineer, but the simplest of video games eludes him. It's not the complicated UI, it's a thought-pattern he never developed. Maybe if he spent enough time at it, he could pick it up, but he never will. He's got too many things to do that are actually fun for him.

I think the study fails to recognize that there are thought-patterns associated with being a good gamer, but gamers definitely tend towards more agile thinking and better motor skills, at least for the hands.

Re:Interesting, although gamers already know this. (1)

wfberg (24378) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699286)

Like you said, the game itself is simple. He's not asking about XP points and manna, he's asking about the controls. Driving a car with playstation controls instead of a steering wheel, paddles and a stickshift (if applicable) is not intuitive.

Re:Interesting, although gamers already know this. (2, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699509)

It's at least as intuitive as a car's controls. You turn a wheel to make the car change direction? Which way is clockwise, left or right? You press a lever down to make it go forwards. You press an identical level to make it stop? And you press it the same way! You have to move a stick to different positions for different gears (it would appear as speeds) and it also handles reverse? But there's only 1 gear for that? If you'd never seen a car, it would be very unintuitive.

For the psx, there's just a stick that goes left or right to make the car go left or right. You press a button to go. You press a button to stop. (And most race games make this the reverse as well.) So you've got forwards and backwards as buttons. It changes gears for you and handles reverse automatically.

Nothing except a car teaches you how to drive a car. It's the same with video games. It's a different thought process to learn so that it becomes almost instinct for you.

This is so much the case that we are even now still exploring new control methods. Nintendo Revolution has created a 'new' method. (If you listen to Nintendo, they invented everything but the paddle and joystick.)

Re:Interesting, although gamers already know this. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699439)

I suggest you read Raskin. He argued that bad UIs and games were the same thing - you had to navigate them, work out how they worked, and test your brain along the way.

Re:Interesting, although gamers already know this. (5, Informative)

Spiffae (707428) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699023)

This exact point is covered in the extremely excellent "Everything Bad Is Good For You" [amazon.com] which I'm sure Slashdot has reviewed...let's see. Yep [slashdot.org] .

It's an excellent book and well worth the time and money. Covers a huge range of topics from watching TV to playing Grand Theft Auto, and it does so in a well informed and enlightening way.

It's improved my memory (3, Insightful)

DaNasty (833075) | more than 8 years ago | (#14698877)

I've certainly noticed it's improved my memory and allowed me to become more adept at finding my way around new places. Expansive games like GTA: SA have allowed me to learn locations & glean directions with just a cusory glance at a map. Thanks videogames!

Multitasking? (1)

darkain (749283) | more than 8 years ago | (#14698879)

I use desktop sidebar to subscribe to slashdot... I play World of Warcraft in windows mode so I can still see desktop sidebar... Both of these events where occuring at the same time... I guess that whole "task switching" thing works well in my head...

Comment posted, time to slaughter some more aliance care bears!!

Re:Multitasking? (1)

grimJester (890090) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699316)

Playing WoW while constantly following Slashdot? I applaud you, sir!

I feel almost normal now!

Murder Simulators!!!11 (1)

RancidPeanutOil (607744) | more than 8 years ago | (#14698880)

the eternally young, highly-trained soldier of the future. Regarding said, I, for one, welcome them.

Yoga keeps the mind young (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14698901)

And you don't even have to buy it.

"Recent Studies" (1)

Wallslide (544078) | more than 8 years ago | (#14698902)

I dislike how the author of the article slipped this in.

Although Prof. Bialystok is a strong proponent of bilingual education, she is less enthusiastic about video games. Recent studies have found overexposure to violent video games may desensitize children to violence and that gaming can become addictive enough to distract from other activities.

Its not clear whether Professor Bialystok actually made reference to these "recent studies" or not. If the author is just paraphrasing a conversation she had with the Professor Bialystok as she leads the reader to believe, then perhaps I would be more forgiving. Unfortunately, the ambiguous language leaves open the possibility that the author added in the information about the so called "recent studies" to help balance out her article. If this is the case, then this is deceptive fear mongering. In either case, some more information about these studies would have been much appreciated (as would unambiguous language).

The trade-off (2, Insightful)

slashdotmsiriv (922939) | more than 8 years ago | (#14698907)

On the other hand. if you instead of spending your time playing VG's you spend it studying, working, reading an educational book, socializing with fun or interesing people, the benefits would far surpass the whatever skills these ppl claim you acquire.

(Not to mention the increased number of opportunities to meet chicks, unless of course you are this guy
http://media.putfile.com/PurePwnage-WoWisafeeling [putfile.com] ...)

That's PC for "Intellectually Stunted" (0, Troll)

BAM0027 (82813) | more than 8 years ago | (#14698914)

Was this from the Beorge W. Bush School of Rationalization?

Europe vs US (4, Funny)

toolslive (953869) | more than 8 years ago | (#14698922)

most Europeans speak 2 or 3 languages... and yes, they consider Americans stupid.

Re:Europe vs US (1)

Stelminator (856547) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699030)

while I don't know where you come from, I was slightly offended by that as an American, until I remembered that it's usually only the stupid Americans that don't even bother to learn another language. I and most of my friends have at least made an attempt, though it's fairly difficult to get enough practice to become fluent.

P.S. I write this from Germany where one of my courses this semester was Spanish.

Well you just proved that americans are stupid (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699492)

They speak german in germany, not spanish. Geez.

Laugh it is funny

Re:Europe vs US (0, Flamebait)

bobsalt (575905) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699044)

the European arrogance cancels out the bonus they get on the multilingual (of course I'm sure they say the arrogance of us cancels out our better work ethic -lol) and maybe it does? one of not to many americans travel abroad and I think that hurts us

Re:Europe vs US (4, Insightful)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699370)

Which as far as I can tell is due to 2 factors: most Europeans start learning a foreign language at a very young age; and there is an enormous amount of English language media out there.
I bet your charts are full of US and UK music in English, I bet your TV channels have English language shows with subtitles, and you are currently posting on an English language website.
Contrast my experience as a Briton learning French: there are no French songs in the charts, my only opportunity to see French language shows is TV5 without subtitles and there are no French language websites that really grab my interest although I'm still looking around.
Learning other languages you have it even more simple given that French, Spanish and Italian all have a lot in common, and Dutch, German, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian likewise.
If you could speak a language very different to your own with little to no exposure to the language outside lessons I'd be more impressed, as it is mainland Europeans have it very easy with regards to being multilingual and your arrogance is misplaced.

Re:Europe vs US (1)

FailedTheTuringTest (937776) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699421)

Spanish is spreading pretty quickly in the USA. I wonder if it might not be much longer before the USA becomes a bilingual country?

Re:Europe vs US (-1, Flamebait)

GodGell (897123) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699559)

Well, I'm a Central European, and I speak english (at 14), even though I was never taught to. I learned it by myself from using the Internet. When I became fluent enough, I started watching movies and TV shows purely in english, without any subtitles, which really improved my recognition of spoken english words. I have been trying to learn German this way, and it seems it's a lot harder when you actually want to learn it.
And yes, I do consider the average american to be stupid, and I have every reason to do so. The fact that Bush is still president in america is a very good reason, for example, along with the fact that the average american thinks america is the only place on the planet. That said, I do know plenty of intelligent americans, and fortunately I usually manage to avoid the stupid ones on the internet.

...What about me (1)

KuRa_Scvls (932317) | more than 8 years ago | (#14698932)

I speak three languages, play games day and night. Does that make me Godly?

or just plain slashdot nerd

Re:...What about me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14699449)

meh!... I speak 7...

Re:...What about me (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699472)

I believe the correct term is Wicked Sick [urbandictionary.com]

farmers too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14698938)

certainly this can't include farmers?

I think I'm bilingual... (1)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 8 years ago | (#14698944)

Does l337 speak count as a language?

Great! (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699016)

I'll play some videogames as soon as I find my damn glasses...

-jcr

I love games and all, but..... (1)

morganix (885178) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699074)

I think by "aging" they actually mean "accumulating intelligence."

Young forever (1)

dw604 (900995) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699121)

Sure, the brain may be 'young' but all those hours of gaming can leave you: 1) Sleep Deprived 2) Malnourished 3) Lack of Vitamin D (sunlight) 4) Buried in a pile of moldy old pizza boxes, drvie-thru coffee cups and pop cans I think it's important to find a happy medium.

Re:Young forever (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699493)

No, it's important to find the minigun and the Big Ol' Keg Of Health.

Just what I need... (1)

nebbian (564148) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699158)

Yep, that's just what I need to read. Thanks, /. for making me work even less now.

otoh, anyone know where the latest download of Dark Castle 3 is? :D

Welcome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14699217)

I for one welcome our bilingual video game playing overlords

Higher education actually helps gaming (2, Interesting)

zlogic (892404) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699297)

I've entered university two years ago and I've been styding various programming algorithms there (like width- and depth- searching in graphs, data flow etc).
When I recently played Warcraft (haven't played it for three years or more) I've found out that I'm applying the stuff I've been studying. Particulary, using width-searching when I'm developing my home base. As a result, I'm beating the computer all the time and often even some of my hardcore-gaming friends.
Well, if I haven't entered university, I would be actually not playing games better. So, it's my education that's helping me play better and not vice-versa.
And about bilingual players: if your native language is not English and you know only one language it's kind of hard to be playing non-translated English games.
One more interesting fact: my native language is Russian, but while I was playing Doom 3 (in English) for the first time I found myself swearing in English. Was kind of funny when I found out.

Re:Higher education actually helps gaming (1)

koreaman (835838) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699356)

I think speaking Russian makes you smarter. I tried to learn it long ago, and anyone who can fit all that in their head (even if they learned it naturally as a child) is a genius. I think I gave up sometime around the genetive plural case.

I for one... (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699393)

I for one welcome our new bilingual gaming ove... Hey wait a minute, I'm a trilingual gaming geek! :-o

the human brain... (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699395)

... as a quality of adaptability to it.

If you don't use it, you lose it. But if you do use it, then you get better at it.

What is it? Whjat ever it is that you focus on and apply, mentally....

Guess who funded? (1)

skynare (777361) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699451)

Xbox 360 department in Microsoft corporation funded that study.

Pues claro (1)

ewg (158266) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699461)

Pues claro los que participan en los juegos de video que también son bilingües muestran función cerebral superior. Desde el Nintendo DS hasta el Xbox 360, todos los juegos de video representan ejercicio para los reflejos, los centros de lógica y la imaginación. La necesidad de manejar el mundo del juego en realtime corresponde a la tarea de dominar el sistema de gramática y lista de vocabulario del otro idioma. Búscame en Xbox Live para hablar más sobre este tema.

Exercize the mind, mind is healthy.... (2, Insightful)

Havenwar (867124) | more than 8 years ago | (#14699619)

But what about the body? Sure, gaming is good for the brain... so is readin, drawing, studying, thinking, fantasizing, and pretty much anything else you do with your mind. How do I know... simple - if you stop you're dead.

But more importantly, as I said, what about the body? I'm pretty sure it isn't helped by those 48 hour MMORPG maratons. Really want to have the mind of a 12 year old in the body of a 75 year old... when you'r thirty, or maybe forty? Really?

I think I'll diversify a bit more myself. Maybe pick up another language... or I dunno... not game so much.

Just one more level.
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