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Playing ‘Mario Kart’ may improve driving skills—study

/ 04:50 PM July 20, 2016
Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 4.15.12 PM

Waluigi of the Mario Kart franchise. Screen Grab from Mario Kart/Facebook

Nintendo’s Mario Kart franchise may have caused a few rifts among competing friends and family members over the years, but a recent study revealed that it could actually improve real-life driving proficiency.

A new study published by Psychological Science discovered a link between playing action video games and visual-motor skill development.

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According to the report, researchers from University of Hong Kong and New York University Shanghai Campus conducted several experiments involving 80 students and professors, who played multiple gaming titles, including driving games like ‘Mario Kart’ and first-person shooting games like ‘Unreal Tournament’.

In comparison with the effects of the earlier tests, the subjects were also exposed to with non-action, strategic management games like ‘Sims 2′ and ‘Roller Coaster Tycoon.’

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By examining how their muscles responded to incoming visual cues, researchers concluded that driving games improved the players’ ability to coordinate visual information, a skill applied to many real world experiences like driving a car.

Judging from a gaming period of as little as five hours, their visuomotor-control skills gradually enhanced in both response and precision.

Fourteen of the 80 participants, meanwhile,  had driver’s licenses, which appeared to have no effect on the results.

The study also concluded that contrary to popular belief, first-person shooting games did not have a causal effect of aggravating violence in real life. Khristian Ibarrola

TOPICS: driving proficiency, improve, Mario Kart, Nintendo, Study
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