Video Games: Friend or Foe
A seventeen-year-old named Peter Allen (a recent grad from York Catholic HS in York, Pennsylvania) recently completed a world-class science project that involves using Speed Stacks and sport stacking.
Pete's project was titled, "Video Games: Friend or Foe?", and used four separate tests to determine the subjects' eye-hand coordination and attention/perception skills. It asked the question, "Did gamers have faster reaction times and therefore, do video games have the ability to help people?"
Pete entered his school and county Science Fairs as a requirement for taking AP (or Honors) science courses at York Catholic HS.
This project took the Grand Champion Prize in York and that sent Pete on to the Intel International Science Fair in Phoenix, Arizona.
In the Behavioral Science category, Pete was awarded one of the Third Place awards and $1000. Quite an impressive accomplishment at this World Class competition! [ Check out the Science Service web site for details on this great gathering of young minds: www.sciserv.org/isef ]
Pete set out to determine whether subjects who frequently play video games on a regular basis have better hand-eye acuity and visual superiority than those who do not. Sport stacking is mentioned as beneficial to the acquisition and enhancement of basic motor skills. Pete also mentions that doctors who play video games have shown dramatic improvements in speed and accuracy during surgery. By using the 1-10-1 stack, subjects were evaluated on their ability to up stack and down stack using eye-hand coordination, not logic. Times were recorded for three tries.
The results, as one would expect, showed that gamers performed better than non-gamers at sport stacking. The total average for gamers was 15.72 seconds verses a 17.35 for non-gamers. The non-gamers were 10.4% slower than those that play video games on a regular basis. In conclusion, Pete mentions that, "video games do have the potential to help people… and can no longer be considered the enemy".