A study by psychologists at the University of Illinois suggests that measuring brainwave oscillation could predict how quickly someone will get good at a video game. The study, published today in the journal Psychophysiology, is simultaneously heartening to people like myself who are bad at video games. On the one hand, there’s nothing we can do about it, and it doesn’t mean we appreciate the medium any less. We’re just not wired that way, which is a very freeing thing. On the other hand, we’re bad at a fun thing because our brains our broken, which is a hard statement to paint in a flattering light.
The study looked at the brainwaves of 39 participants, none of whom were regular gamers, and measured their performance at a game specially designed for this experiment, dubbed Space Fortress, which totally sounds like something we would play. Results showed that, over the course of a month, subjects with stronger alpha brainwave activity improved their performance at the game faster than those with weak activity in the alpha brainwave.
Players with stronger alpha brainwave activity showed better reaction times and reflexes during play, and also had better working memory of levels. Researchers suspect that further down the road, boosting alpha brainwaves could improve video game performance, turning a quick alpha wave boost into a kickass mental steroid for video games. Which I think we can all agree would be awesome.
It’s also worth noting that this flies in the face of studies done by Futurama, where video games are demonstrated to be pretty much the only thing Fry is even okay at, despite his notable lack of an alpha brainwave. Time to show your work, Real Scientists.
- Performance enhancers will make LoL championships even more epic
- You playing Halo could look just like the trailer one day
- You won’t even need to cheat code your way to special heroes in XCOM