GameSpot may receive revenue from affiliate and advertising partnerships for sharing this content and from purchases through links.

Call of Duty and Other Action Games Make Better Learners, Study Finds

Call of Duty players shown to be better learners than The Sims players.

No Caption Provided

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that people who play action games like Call of Duty and Unreal Tournament 2004 demonstrated a greater capacity to learn than people who played non-action games.

"Prior research by our group and others has shown that action gamers excel at many tasks," a research professor in brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester and one of the authors of the paper Daphne Bavelier told CBS News. "In this new study, we show they excel because they are better learners."

The study compared the visual performance of 10 people who played games like Call of Duty with 10 people who played non-action games like The Sims, measuring their ability to distinguish one set of black and white lines from another presented in rapidly.

At first, the difference between the two groups was indistinguishable, Bavelier said, but those who played action games were quickly able to better estimate what various patterns of lines would look like, showing an accelerated learning curve.

"In order to sharpen its prediction skills, our brains constantly build models, or 'templates,' of the world," Bavelier said. "The better the template, the better the performance. And now we know playing action video game actually fosters better templates."

Another recent study from researchers at Villanova University and Rutgers University also suggested that violent video games do not lead to increases in real-world violent behavior.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are 108 comments about this story