back to article Kids! You get back in front of that Xbox right now

Positive news for gamers, and their parents. Hours in front of the glowing box hammering zombies as a youngster can make you more creative. A test of 491 12-year-olds found that the more they played video games, they more creative they were. The research by Linda A Jackson, a Professor of Psychology at Michigan State …


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  1. P. Lee

    A test of 419 12-year-olds...

    There, fixed it.

  2. Ralph B


    This study wasn't funded by by any chance?

    1. Andy Fletcher

      Even if it was...who cares?

      I'm glad to see someone taking a different side for a change. And I'm not sure why it's surprising to anyone that someone who funds something has a vested interest anyway, becuase no-one funds anything they aren't interested in do they?

  3. Roger Kynaston Silver badge


    Is 491 (or 419) a statistically significant sample in this context? I am far too old a fogey to be able to cope with such things but my anecdotal experience of the kids of friends shows that it doesn't seem to rot the grey cells too much.

    It would be good to get a spread of studies and I suspect larger samples to really show the benefits or not of killing Zog or whoever multiple times.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Also improves...

    ... concentration, was recommended to my parents by one of my teachers many moons ago.

    1. Greg J Preece

      And hand-eye co-ordination. And, depending on the game, reflexes. After playing Time Crisis (yes, there I go again) to competitive levels, I've now got lightning-fast reactions. Pity my *ahem* chunky form doesn't allow me to make as great a use of them as I'd like.

  5. The BigYin

    I would say... depends greatly on the game. Also, if kids spend hours in front of the tube we'll end up with an army of obese creatives suffering from myopia, weak bones and poor social skills.

    All things in moderation. Unless it's chocolate - pile it on! :-)

  6. Ru

    Why is this a *good* thing?

    It is already Well Known by those who actually Think Of The Children that video games, especially violent ones, encourage violent and murderous behaviour, and probably lead to drug use and premarital sex.

    Why on earth do we want the next generation of spree killers to be *more creative*?

    Won't anyone think of the boring, uncreative yet non-murderous children?

  7. atomic jam

    I've been playing games since the atari 2600 (i think), I even made games for the amstrad cpc464 with colour screen(green, It's a colour). Now i write monthly newsletters as well as look after various machines, I also write a monthly parody of my local newsletters, although I would get fired if my various boss type people knew what I was doing, luckily I know how to cover my tracks.

    Raise a glass of the frothy stuff for games!

  8. joshimitsu

    maybe for strategy games

    I doubt there's much creativity required to complete an on-the-rails FPS.

    Something like Monkey Island thought, requires such out of the box thinking I just thought "wtf" on reading the strategy guide lol

    1. Oninoshiko


      Care to back that up?

      These people did a study, they tried different types of games including FPSes, and found out that is correlated with an increase in creativity.

      Where as, you remain some random guy on the internet commenting with no evidence.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        commenting with no evidence

        "Where as, you remain some random guy on the internet commenting with no evidence."

        Hey! Around here we call that "creativity".

  9. John Latham


    My six year turns into a complete monster after an hour or two of Lego Universe.

    He may be a very creative monster, it's not something I've bothered to test. For the time being I'm resisting demands for a Nintendo DS.

  10. Atonnis


    Creative....or plagiaristic?

  11. Thomas 18

    Correlation != Causality

    At least they acknowledge it though.

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Correlation != Causality

      Yep... it could be that the creative kids tended to play more games.

      As for the uncreative kids... they were too busy watching TV (a passive medium) to take part in the survey.

  12. The Fuzzy Wotnot


    Bugger off and come back when you've polled a few thousand plus their parents and teachers.

    I'm sure it does help but like all things in life moderation is the key. VGs mixed with other interests, like books, movies and parental attention will give kid's lots of things to trigger their creativity, one thing alone will not.

  13. Nick Galloway

    Logic anyone

    Creativity is a nice attribute but how about logic, analytical thinking, disciplioned. The 60's was full of creative types, they were known collectively as 'hippies'. They painted VW camper vans in house paint, took mind altering drugs, shagged their way around and were critical of anything the 'conventional' world was doing. Creativity is great but it needs a few other attributes to be socially or communally beneficial.

    Now where is a that DOS boot disk with DOOM installed...?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm really impressed with this piece of research. Not with the subject, or even the results, particularly. With the fact that reseach looking into effects of something on something else not only understands that correlation != causality, but is actually planning more experiments to find out what the causality is. In my experience, this is entirely unique in social research, at least the kind that is reported on in mass media.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      It's rare in *press releases*, because the Marketing & Communications department typically wants to avoid the rhetorical dampening effect of "more work is needed" when announcing the results of research. But the actual researchers - particularly at a Research I institution like MSU - will almost always note methodological limitations (including the obvious ones like correlation/causality) and directions for further work.

  15. Robert E

    Gaming doesnt make you creative - its Creative people who play games

    er... Maybe its that creative people are attracted to Gaming - that it stimulates their imagination and allows them to role play in an effective way.. People with poor imaginations, or who arent creative dont tend to like games.

    Therefore I dont think gaming makes you creative - its creative people who game play.

    Saying its the other way around, is like saying a going into a male toilet turns you into a man - rather than the more obvious - that you have to BE a man first, before you are able to go in. Simples.

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