Does Video Gaming Affect Your Memory?

Summary

         The problem addressed in this project is can video games improve your memory. We hypothesized that yes, video games can improve your memory. The procedure of the project is as follows: First, we found pictures and put them into a presentation for the memory test. Second, we asked six people to participate. The participants took a test after doing an activity three different times. The first activity we tested was Athletics, the second activity tested was video games, and the third activity tested was board games. The data we gathered showed that the participants scored the highest score after the athletics part and they participants scored lowest after playing video games proving our hypothesis wrong.

Question / Proposal

           Are Video games really bad for you? Most people may assume video games are just for entertainment purposes and are frustrated when their kids are playing instead of doing homework and are constantly on electronics all the time. Though, are their kids doing more than just sitting staring at a screen all day? Are kids getting any benefit out of it? Can video games be used for educational purposes on a regular basis? What can be used or discarded from these games for the better of society? Video games have become very popular in the past.  Can video games actually be beneficial and not just for entertainment purposes.

         The hypothesis of this experiment is that video games can improve your memory. Video games can cause kids to sit in front of a screen all day, but with fast paced games we believe that video games can cause your brain to think quicker and more efficiently allowing you to remember things you might not have remembered before.


 

Research

        Many things can cause you to have memory loss. One thing that can affect memory loss is the lack of sleep. For instance, people with sleep deprivation and sleeping disorders not only suffer from memory loss, but they can also suffer from reduced reaction time and impaired attention. Another way you can have memory loss is if you have a dysfunctional thyroid. When having a dysfunctional thyroid, you may have heat flashes, depression and having memory loss.

        When school shootings, started happening more frequently, people started blaming video games for their aggressive behavior and anti-socialness. Researchers say that video gamers outperformed non-video gamers in their memory skills and having more brain flexibility because video gaming trains them to be flexible and to monitor the game.  At the University of Leiden, researchers are investigating if video gaming is a fast and easy way to improve your memory. Games are not about just pressing buttons at the right moment, but require the players to develop an adaptive mindset. Publisher showed a memory test on people that play video games weekly verses, people that have never played video games.

         People are spending over 3,000,000,000 hours in front of the screen during their lifetime. Due to so many people, scientist, have started studying if video games can affect your memory in good or bad ways. 150,000,000 people play video games in the United States per day. They regularly spend three hours a day playing video games. 72% of these video gamers are over 18 years old. The three best-selling video games in 2016 involved adventure and violence.

        Decades of research shows that scientist have not been able to prove that video games that have violence, affect real world people. Scientist focus on how the brain reacts to video game exposure. These facts do not always translate to real life changes. Studies have shown that expert video game players have a better attention span than non-players. Expert gamers can track and recall where high speed moving objects with more accuracy than non-gamers. Non-gamers have been tested by playing video games for a period of time and while non-gamers did improve, the results still shown that gamers who play all the time preformed way better. Action video games improve selective attention and helps people recall things they might not have been able to recall before. People who play video games tend to be able to switch from one topic or activity to another faster than non-gamers. People who play games more have more cognitive abilities than non-gamers.

        Playing for a certain amount of time does not improve short term memory as certain studies have shown. Although video games do not improve short term memory they can affect visual short-term memory which can then improve your memory. To improve your memory, studies have shown, action-based games work the best. Tests have also shown the speed inreaction time is affected by how intense the game is. The attention skills you learn in gaming can be used in other activities as well.

       First person shooter (FPS) games require the player to have fast reactions. People who play FPS games need to have fast visual reactions for the games. Tests on video game players (VPG) and non-video game players show the VGP have more accurate and fast monitoring working memory. The people who played video games were faster at the starting times. First person shooter games can improve your abilities without affecting your impulsivity.


 


 

Method / Testing and Redesign

            The procedure of the project is as follows; First, we found pictures and put them into a presentation for the memory test. Second, we asked six people to participate. We then showed each person a set of ten pictures then having the participants do a certain activity. The first activity was athletics were the participants played soccer for ten minutes. When the ten minutes where up we tested the participants with a different set of ten pictures, but some of the pictures were repeats. The participants had to tell us what pictures they have seen before and what pictures they haven't seen. For the second test we had the participants look at the original ten pictures, but we switched the pictures around to change the order of what pictures they saw so it would be harder to memorize them.  After we showed the participants the pictures they played Fortnite a video game for ten minutes where after we tested the participants again. On the third test the pictures were switched up again and showed to the participants. Lastly the participants played the board game monopoly for ten minutes and when the time was done we tested the participants one last time by showing the participants the pictures.

         The independent variable is the order of the pictures in the test. The dependent variable is the activities the participants complete before testing. The constants in my experiment are the test pictures, people, the same setting, games per trial and the time per activity.


 


 

Results

     The data in the charts shows how the participants scored, as well as the average of all the scores. The first chart shows how all of the participants scored when taking the memory test after being active. The scores on this test are the highest scoring test we had were all the participants scored ten out of ten. The second chart shows the scores of the participants on the memory test after playing video games. The participants did the worst on this test with an average of three point three out of ten. The third chart shows what the participants scored on the test after they played a board game. The participants did better on this test than the video games test with an average of five point five out of ten. The final chart shows the average of all three scores test.  The average of the first test is ten out of ten. The average of the second test is three point three of ten and the average of the last test is five point five out of ten. The graph shows the data of all of their test scores in a column.

 

 

Test 1: Athletics

People Participating

Scores

Subject 1

10/10

Subject 2

10/10

Subject 3

10/10

Subject 4

10/10

Subject 5

10/10

Subject 6

10/10

Average

10/10

 

Test 2 Video Games

People Participating

Scores

Subject 1

2/10

Subject 2

2/10

Subject 3

4/10

Subject 4

3/10

Subject 5

3/10

Subject 6

6/10

Average

3.3/10

 

Test 3 Board Games

People Participating

Scores

Subject 1

5/10

Subject 2

6/10

Subject 3

9/10

Subject 4

5/10

Subject 5

4/10

Subject 6

4/10

Average

5.5/10

 

       Averages

Test 1

10/10

Test 2

3.3/10

Test 3

5.5/10

Averages

6.27/10

 

Conclusion

        

Statistical Analysis

       We tested the participants while doing different activities. We originally showed the participants ten pictures and after the activity ten more pictures with repeated pictures mixed in. If the participants scored a ten out of ten the participants knew what pictures were repeated and which pictures were not. If the participants scored less than either they did not recognize a repeated picture or they thought a picture that was not repeated was repeated. This could be applied when educators want to find the best way to get a student who might struggle with learning certain material or even to find a better study mechanism.

Interpretation/Conclusions

        Can video games help your memory? The hypothesis is yes video games can help your memory. The hypothesis was incorrect the results show that the participants did the worst on the video games test than any other activity. The participants scored an average of 3.3/10 on the test overall while on board games overall the average was 5.5 /10 and for Athletics was 10/10. The research found that other studies were more successful in showing that video games can help your memory. This study can help in everyday life with education uses and how much a person should be spending in front of a screen.

      Future Study

In the future we would like to study how other ways that can affect your memory. We only tested a couple things like games. While in the future we could study about books and different types of games. We also would like to study long term memory instead of just short term. In the future this may help with how video games could help with education purposes.


 


 

About me

   My name is Caydee Burden. I live in a house with two brothers and loving parents. My biggest inspiration is my big brother Cade. He has had two ACL tares and still keeps pursuing his passion of football. He has always been there for me encouraging me in my passions, which are volleyball, guitar, and science. One of my science inspirations is Marie Curie. She was a Polish and French physicist and chemist who conducted new methods of research on radioactivity. The reason she is my inspiration is because she worked with her family. Also, she is my inspiration because Curie was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and the first person man or woman to win the prestigious award twice. After high school I plan to pursue a get a double major in music and environmental science. I have not yet found a good collage for these specifications. Wining this competition would be amazing it could be a life changer allowing with better scholarships for when I graduate and better collages. Even if I don’t win I will submit on next year and try again. 

Health & Safety

Parent Information

Elizabeth Burden

eburden@eurekausd389.net

She works at Marshall Elementary Eureka Ks

Instructor 

Kim Ring

kring@eurekausd389.net

She is our science instructor

 

Bibliography, references, and acknowledgements

           We appreciate the help of Courtney Altis, Chaise Turner, Skylee Dodd, Garrison Spoonts, Ashton Olsen and Victoria Perkins for taking time to participate in this project. We also appreciate the help of Heath Coon, Cindy Coon, Eric Burden, and Elizabeth Burden for being supportive parents encouraging us throughout the whole project. We would also like to thank Mrs. Ring for encouraging us and answering are questions.

12 Unexpected Things that Mess with Your Memory. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20845146,00.html

Colzato, L. S., Wery P. M. van den Wildenberg, Zmigrod, S., & Hommel, B. (2012, January 22). Action video gaming and cognitive control: Playing first person shooter games is associated with improvement in working memory but not action inhibition. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00426-012-0415-2

 

Intensive video gaming improves encoding speed to visual short-term memory in young male adults. (2012, December 20). Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0001691812001850

 

Nichols, H. (2017, July 10). How video games affect the brain. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318345.php

 

The effects of video game playing on attention, memory, and executive control. (2008, October 16). Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0001691808001200