Another study has thrown up some interesting facts about the effects on the individual of playing video games.
Could it be the copy cat hacking and slashing of innocent passers by? Believing that one is a hedgehog bent on collecting golden rings? Or thinking that just because you can execute a perfect cover drive on screen you will be able to do the same when you get to the middle in real life?
Not at all. Researchers at
Two emotional variables were studied, arousal (the degree of physical excitation as measured through skin conductance) and valence which is the range of positive or negative feelings.
The researchers found that players with a high degree of arousal and positive mood were most likely to have new ideas for problem solving. The statistical tests also revealed that creativity scores were highest for players with low arousal and a negative mood.
In real-life terms, the study appears to indicate that after playing the game, happy or sad people are most creative, while angry or relaxed people are not.
The researchers suggested that either high or low arousal is key to creativity. In other words, medium amounts of arousal are not conducive to creativity.
S. Shyam Sundar, professor of ‘film, video and media studies’ (tough job I would imagine, should have done astrophysics for an easy life) at Penn State suggested that the study could offer a set of rules that could be applied to a video game to see if it can make a person creative or lead to creative outcomes as soon as the game is over.
"We are not looking just at creative games, but what emotional elements of games can serve as an engine to spark creative thought and new problem solving skills," the Professor said.
He envisions a scenario in which the emotional drivers that video games provide could be harnessed for creative outcomes, either in a classroom setting, or for corporate decision-making.
So in an ideal world just before you toddle off to your next strategy meeting at work. Where the business is up against it and everyone is relying on you to come up with some half decent ideas to resolve the situation you should play a networked game of one sort or another, lose really badly and as a result end up feeling just a bit miserable about the whole thing.
My normal level of game playing will probably ensure the latter. Just need to persuade the Head of Department of the virtues of the plan.
I did try to think of a few comedic examples of which games creative genii might have played in an historical re imagining. But not being in an astoundingly happy or sad mood I just couldn't come up with any. So as a last bit of Bank holiday homework any suggestions (if you are so minded to do so) would be appreciated.