January 28, 2010
And that brings up an interesting bit of information. Gaming improves thinking.
Ongoing research conducted by the Office of Naval Research suggests "that video games can help adults process information much faster and improve their fundamental abilities to reason and solve problems in novel contexts." This as posted at the United States Department of of Defense by Bob Freeman. Freeman quotes Ray Perez, program officer at the ONR's warfighter performance department who gave the following statements during a January 20 interview on Pentagon Web Radio's webcast, "Armed with Science: Research and Applications for the Modern Military." For those who have always been convinced that gaming isn't a 100% negative influence - as the mainstream media continually wants everyone to believe - these findings are for you. Perez says they have discovered that frequent game players "perform 10 to 20 percent higher in terms of perceptual and cognitive ability than normal people that are non-game players." Perez, who holds a doctorate in educational psychology, is seeking new training techniques that will allow our soldiers "to improve performance on the battlefield." This new war on terror has forced the military to adapt to "deadly adversaries who constantly change their tactics," and this being the case, games could be of great assistance. Said Perez:Rigidity in thinking is a common occurrence. You see it all the time in the sciences. Some one finds an anomaly in an experiment and the first thought is "experimental error". And it usually is an experimental error. But the times when it isn't cause revolutions in science. From what I understand Einstein revolutionized physics based on a few anomalies."We have to train people to be quick on their feet - agile problem solvers, agile thinkers - to be able to counteract and develop counter tactics to terrorists on the battlefield. It's really about human inventiveness and creativeness and being able to match wits with the enemy."Perhaps most interesting is the mention of something Perez calls "fluid intelligence," which is the "ability to change, to meet new problems and to develop new tactics and counter-tactics." ...that sounds a heck of a lot like what we always do in many games, doesn't it? Up until now, Perez says fluid intelligence was thought to be "immutable," in that it couldn't be changed or improved. The general belief was that after the age of 20, "most humans had achieved their brain cell capacity, and that new brain cells were acquired at the expense of existing ones." But playing video games have produced "surprising results" during testing and now, the aforementioned belief may be deemed incorrect.
There are people thinking of explanations. But you need a fluid mind, because if you are rigidly locked in accepted theories it is difficult to come up with new ones. Or worse yet the ability to accept the overthrow of the old understanding.
Something called the Tajmar effect may have something to do with the Pioneer and flyby anomalies according to this paper:
Can the Tajmar effect be explained using a modification of inertia? [pdf]It is important to have a fluid but sceptical mind. Investigate. Everything is not settled.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
posted by Simon on 01.28.10 at 08:57 AM
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