Playing video games can make you more creative
Researchers assert that gameplay can help the creative juices flow
Video games have become a major source of entertainment. Many reports indicate that as much as 67% of the US population plays video games – usually on smartphones or tablets – and 7.6 hours per week is the average amount of time spent in front of the screen. However, researchers now say that playing video games is more than just a form of entertainment; it can get the creative juices flowing. So, the next time you need a shot of creativity, turn to Minecraft.
Iowa State University Professor of Psychology Douglas Gentile set out to explore the value of video games and determined that certain types of games can help improve hand-eye coordination, motion detection and, in some cases, social skills. The research shows that the type and structure of the game are important to achieve the desired results, and the team says Minecraft shows the best promise.
The study participants consistently played Minecraft for 45 minutes and also played a racing game and watched a nature documentary. After taking part in the activities, they were given tests to measure creativity and Gentile explains, “What we found is that if [gamers have] played Minecraft … they were more creative than either of the [other] conditions. He adds that scientists witnessed increased creative activity, which he defines as the ability to “think of something that hasn’t been thought of before.”
A separate study seems to support the theory and also goes further, stating that Minecraft can make the mind work better. Craig Stark of the University of California, Irvine has shown that playing Minecraft can improve memory related to environments and special orientation, asserting, “The amount you explored … that actually predicted how much your [spatial] memory improved.”