A TED talk reveals that there are some scientifically supported benefits to playing action games, including an increased attention span and improved eye-sight.
Turns out there are some actual, scientific benefits to playing action games. In a TED talk hosted by cognitive researcher Daphne Bavelier, action games have been studied in a laboratory environment for what beneficial or detrimental effects they might have on players. Long standing beliefs such as sight-impairment from looking at a screen for too long, or gamers having short attention spans, seem to be wrong.
Bavelier's research indicates that there's quite a few benefits to action games: Eye sight, especially discerning detail, is better among gamers, and their ability to see varying shades of grey is improved as compared to the general population. In addition, gamers have an increased attention span and ability to multitask and to track moving objects. When attempting to follow a number of specific objects, among a much greater set on a cluttered screen, gamers were found to be able to track around twice as many objects as non-gamers.
All of these things may seem like rather useless talents, but when applied to real world situations, such as the ability to see the various grey features of a foggy roadway, the advantages become more pronounced. But don't take my word for it – check out the TED talk below: