Playing the game Call of Duty can help you improve your driving skills

'Playing games can help you drive better'. After hearing this sentence, you will immediately think of racing games like Gran Turismo or Forza Motorsports. Certainly, these games can teach players the mechanics of driving, especially the skill of using the steering wheel and controlling the pedals.

But are they the best games to help you improve your driving skills? The answer is no.

Ironically, studies show that first-person shooters like Call of Duty actually benefit drivers more than driving games.

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One of the most obvious and most talked about positive effects of gaming is improved hand-eye coordination. According to research by the University of Toronto in 2014, game players are better than non-gamers at performing predictable and consistent structured tasks.

The researchers tested this conclusion by holding the cursor inside a square while the square moved around the screen. At first, the two groups of gamers and non-gamers performed equally. But after practice, the players improved faster and better at keeping the cursor in the square.

This test is not simply a control of what goes on the screen but a test of what is going on in the human brain. Cognitive function and vision are very important for drivers. The ability to recognize a change of direction square and then move the pointer's direction before it goes out of bounds is directly related to situations where drivers must make decisions in a split second to avoid an accident.

University of Toronto's 2014 study is not the only evidence that Call of Duty and similar games can improve skills used in driving. Dr. Daphne Bavelier of the University of Rochester in Brain and Cognitive Science has devoted most of her time to studying the impact of gaming on cognition and has drawn many interesting conclusions about how video games work. actions that affect the player.

In a 2012 TEDx talk, Bavelier refuted the long-held misconception that gaming damages human eyesight. Baverlier's studies show that the eyesight of gamers is always better than that of non-gamers, even for those who play games up to 15 hours a week.

Gamers not only have better eyesight, but also have a sharper perception of different shades of gray. According to Bavelier, this will come in handy when driving in foggy conditions.

"Gamers are better at distinguishing between different gray levels. Imagine you are driving in foggy conditions. Good discrimination of gray levels helps the gamer to see the car ahead. and avoid accidents or cause accidents," Dr. Bavelier shared.

Another misconception is that gaming leads to more attention problems and distractions. Naturally, Dr. Bavelier also refutes this.

Bavelier found that Call of Duty players had better attention span than non-players. This was drawn from testing where words were colored and asking them to read out the shaded color, not the color of the word. Some words cause cognitive conflict. Example: The word Blue (blue) is filled with red ink. The results showed that the game players resolved those conflicts much faster than the non-players.

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Another attention test involved tracking multiple moving targets at once. The average person can track three or four subjects at the same time. Action game players can track between six and seven subjects.

Attention is one of the most important things when driving. Sitting behind the wheel you will have to pay attention to many things at the same time such as the cars ahead, behind and to the side, the children playing on the side of the road, the color of the traffic lights, your speed, the speed of the traffic lights. Vehicles cut through at a green light. There are many things that keep you focused while driving. And tests show that gamers who play action games are very good at this.

Dr. Bavelier also conducted brain imaging of game players to substantiate his claims. Brain scans of gamers showed that all three regions of the brain involved in attention were more active than non-gamers. Those three regions are the parietal lobe that controls the direction of attention, the frontal lobe that maintains attention, and the prefrontal cortex that controls how we allocate focus and resolve conflicts.

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To test it, Bavelier's team conducted a short training course. First, the participants will be given a cognitive test. Next, they will play action games with a total duration of 10 hours for two weeks, each session lasts 40 minutes. The participants were then given the previous cognitive test again. As a result, their abilities were enhanced and even continued to improve for 5 months after participating in the training.

The results of the training show that when playing games like Call of Duty, people improve their vision and perception. And the second thing to be drawn is that brain training with games has a long-lasting effect.

Another study at Shanghai New York University in 2016 showed similar results. Research results show that people who play intense action games for 5 to 10 hours a week improve the visual control skills needed to drive a car.

Studies from the Universities of Toronto, Rochester and Shanghai New York University show evidence that playing video games helps reinforce skills and cognitions important for driving. Gaming should lead to positive improvements for things like object tracking, eyesight, optical conflict resolution, attention, and reaction times. But not all games produce these effects, slow-paced games seem to have no effect at all.