Does Gaming Improve Cognitive Skills?

(1) Pace Junior Science College, Borivali, Mumbai, India
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A nationally representative study of video game play among adolescents in the United States showed that 97% of adolescents aged 12 to 17 years play computer, web, and portable (or console) video games (Lenhart et al., 2008). We hypothesized that if people play games as a regular exercise regime, gaming will correlate with an improvement in their cognitive skills. For this experiment, a few games that tested the logical reasoning and critical analysis skills under a given time constraint were coded in Python using Pygame and were played by a group of 7th grade students. In order to test whether there is a relationship between gaming and test performance, we divided the students into two groups and gave them tests before and after the experimentation period in order to measure their improvement. One group played the games while the other did not. In the group of students that played the games, an average improvement of 62.19% was seen (p < 0.0001). The group that did not play the games only improved their performance by an average of 18.51% (p = 0.0882).

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