Can Video Games Make You A Better Driver?

Gaming

Do video games make you a better driver? There are two clear schools of thought behind this question, but where does the actual truth lay? On the one hand, it could be argued that driving games will provide you with the ability to look around and perceive hazards quicker, while on the other hand, do video games make for reckless drivers? After all, the way you’d behave while driving the Fastest Cars In Forza Horizon 4 is hopefully not how you would drive on the street.

In this article, we’ll take a look into driving games and the effect that they have on people’s ability to drive. We’ll check out the evidence found in genuine experiments and find out once and for all, can video games make you a better driver?

Video Games Sharpen Your Cognitive Skills 

A lot of evidence points to the fact that video games are a great way of improving cognitive skills.

A study a few years back found that people aged 60-85 could actually improve their multitasking ability significantly after playing a car racing game called NeuroRacer.

Another study found that action-based games improve a player’s abilities to make quick decisions and to ignore distractions.

So video games can be beneficial in some respects, but how does that translate to driving in the real world?

Can Video Games Make You A Better Driver?

A study by Maria Rita Ciceri and Daniele Ruscio compared the driving skills of avid games and experienced drivers. The aim was to see whether games are useful in training drivers to see hazards quickly. The researchers were interested in those gamers that had not learned to drive to see whether visual search techniques found in video games were the same as those used on the road.

The type of skills associated with being able to scan the road and identify hazards is something that ordinarily takes hundreds of hours behind the wheel to develop. The researchers believed that gamers may develop the same skills from playing video games.

The experiment used 40 male games who played realistic driving games for 10-15 hours each week. Half of the gamers were experienced drivers, while the other half weren’t. The gamers were sat in front of a steering wheel with pedals and told to follow a series of driving videos. While doing so, they were to turn the wheel as though they were driving. A device would track the eyes of the players to see how they reacted to hazards. The researchers were keen to see how much attention the gamers who were not drivers used rearview mirrors and paid attention to safety areas such as intersections and stop signs.

After several hours of practice the driving games, the non-drivers showed the same limited visual search skills as limited experienced drivers might while the experienced drivers naturally checked key areas more often and for longer periods.

The result? Gamers don’t make better drivers- there is evidence though that gaming can help your cognitive skills and your ability to multitask.

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