As the E3 Expo opened at the Convention Center this week, bringing geeks far and wide to see the latest in video games and gaming hardware, a new study says players have skills other than eating Cheetos and repelling real-life love interests.

According to a summary of research from Duke University's Visual Cognition Lab:

Hours spent at the video gaming console not only train a player's hands to work the buttons on the controller, they probably also train the brain to make better and faster use of visual input …

Yep. Nerds who spend hours staring at a screen are good with their hands. So what's new?

The Duke academics split a group of 125 subjects between gamers and non-gamers and compared the two, finding that video game aficionados appear to get better at “responding to visual stimuli” the more they play.

Credit: Shannon Cottrell for LA Weekly

Credit: Shannon Cottrell for LA Weekly

What's that mean? It's not yet clear. Greg Appelbaum, an assistant professor of psychiatry in the Duke School of Medicine, says hardcore gamers see things more immediately and are more quickly able to make sense of that information.

(Seems to us that would probably make them better drivers, among other things).


They need less information to arrive at a probabilistic conclusion, and they do it faster.

Gamers do it faster. Yet another reason they get all the action.

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