Playing Call of Duty Can Make You Think Faster, Scientists Claim

Playing first-person shooters such as Call of Duty, Halo and Battlefield can make you better prepared to learn new skills, researchers at the University of Rochester claim.

In a study titled ‘Action video game play facilitates the development of better perceptual templates,’ researchers discovered that the brain will try to predict the outcome of a situation whilst playing fast-paced shooters, creating multiple “templates” when there is a high probability of success, with those who play action-oriented games such as CoD and other FPS’ being able to develop these templates faster and with more accuracy than those who don’t. 

Playing Call of Duty can improve your brain’s visual performance, while The Sims‘ slow-paced nature doesn’t help at all.

In order to test out their research, the University of Rochester gathered a group of people who do not play video games, telling one half of the group to play 50 hours of Call of Duty for one week and another to play 50 hours of The Sims. After the week had concluded, the uni conducted a test to see which group had the greatest visual performance, with those who played CoD outperforming those who played The Sims by a considerable margin.

While the debate regarding the link between video games and violence will seemingly never end, this is one of the few studies that actually proves that playing video games can actually be healthy for the brain, with these seemingly mindless shooters actually proving to be some use. Who knew?