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This Study Says Video Games Might Make People Better Learners

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This Study Says Video Games Might Make People Better Learners
Using a pattern recognition test and MRI scanner, researchers found that gamers had stronger memories and learning abilities.
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Gamers might be better than others at learning — and these researchers have the data to prove it.

Using a pattern recognition test and MRI scanner, researchers found that compared to the non-gamers studied, self-identified gamers had stronger memories and learning abilities. MRI scans of the gamers' brains even showed increased brain activity in areas relevant for learning.

This research is in line with past studies. In 2010, the Department of Defense found that in tasks requiring perceptual and cognitive abilities, gamers performed 10 to 20 percent better than non-gamers.

The DoD uses this information to its advantage. For training purposes, video games can help simulate war zones and missions. Beyond training, the military also uses video games to recruit soldiers and treat psychological disorders like PTSD.

Outside of the military, video games are also making their way into some classrooms. Triseum, a company headed by former executives of game company Electronic Arts, hopes to even replace textbooks with educational games.

A study from the company found that after just two hours of playing those games, students improved their knowledge of course material by almost 25 percent.

Triseum's games tend to be for college-level courses, but the popular game Minecraft has also made its way into classrooms of all ages.

The "Education Edition" of the hit game includes lessons on things like geometry, empathy skills and even urban planning.