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Study Shows Playing 3D Video Games Can Improve Memory and Decision Making

(Cough, cough Fortnite and FIFA.)
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Good news: all the time you spend gaming isn't all for naught. Well, for the most part. A study shows playing 3D video games actually boosts memory formation. Who knew?

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The study, conducted by the University of California, Irvine, found that along with improving eye-hand coordination and reaction time, gaming can help against memory loss and even dementia. The catch? It only applies to certain video games with an "intricate" 3D setting. Super Mario 3D World, for one. Or, Fortnite and FIFA.

Researchers asked non-gamer college students to play Angry Birds and Super Mario 3D World for 30 minutes per day for over two weeks. Two very different games. The participants then took memory tests before and after the whole study. Only those who played the 3D game showed immense growth with memory.

"First, the 3-D games have a few things the 2-D ones do not," co-author Dane Clemenson said. "They’ve got a lot more spatial information in there to explore. Second, they’re much more complex, with a lot more information to learn. Either way, we know this kind of learning and memory not only stimulates but requires the hippocampus."

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"Immersive video games may be better suited to provide enriching experiences that translate into functional gains," the study concluded.

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Paolo Chua
Paolo Chua is the Associate Style Editor of Esquire Philippines.
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