Video games have long been thought to be hazardous to your children’s grades but according to a new study, the hours they spend playing them can also have a positive effect on their creativity. Published online in the research journal Computers in Human Behavior and funded by the National Science Foundation, this new research could provide everyone more insight on how the right brain functions in relation to advancing technology. It is also the first of its kind to produce concrete evidence relating the use of technology and the extent of a person’s creativity.
Using a common creativity exam called the Torrance Test of Creativity-Figural, Michigan State University scholars tried to gauge the amount of creativity children had and how playing video games influences it. The test involved their 421 participants—all 12-year-olds—drawing an image out of a curved shape and writing their own stories. Upon reviewing the results, the researchers were able to determine that video games, regardless of what form they take, do give their players a boost in the creativity department.
Linda Jackson, professor of Psychology and lead researcher of the project, is keen on getting video game manufacturers to identify just what aspects of their games are encouraging creativity in children. "Once they do that, video games can be designed to optimize the development of creativity while retaining their entertainment values, such that a new generation of video games will blur the distinction between education and entertainment," she remarked.
However, not all technology has that effect on creativity. The study also pinpointed the lack of impact other technologies have. Using mobile phones, surfing the Internet, or basically anything that doesn’t involve gaming doesn’t appear to do anything for your kids’ creativity.
Anything that isn't done in moderation does have repercussions, however, so this doesn't mean you shouldn't regulate your kids' gaming time. Check out this article for guidelines:
Looking for other ways to boost your children's creativity? Try these on FN for tips:
(Photo source: sxc.hu)