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Can Playing Video Games Make Your Child More Creative?

Can Playing Video Games Make Your Child More Creative?

Most parents assume that playing video games or watching television is bad for their kids. Too much time in front of a screen has been known to create that “zoned out” look and an adverse reaction to physical activity among kids of all ages.

But according to the result of a recent study, playing video games might actually encourage kids to be more creative in other aspects of their lives.

A Michigan State University study of nearly 500 12 year-olds found that the more time kids spent playing video games, the more creative they were in tasks such as drawing pictures and writing stories. In contrast, use of cell phones, the Internet and computers (other than for video games) was unrelated to creativity.

To arrive at this conclusion, researchers asked 491 middle-school students how often they used different forms of technology and then gauged their creativity with the widely used Torrance Test of Creativity-Figural. The Torrance test involves tasks such as drawing an “interesting and exciting” picture from a curved shape, or giving the picture a title and then writing a story about it.

About 72 percent of U.S. households play video or computer games, according to the Entertainment Software Association. Linda Jackson, professor of psychology and lead researcher on the project, said the study appears to be the first evidence-based demonstration of a relationship between technology use and creativity. It’s also interesting to note that creativity increased regardless of gender, race or level of violence in the game played.

Jackson hopes that these results can be used to design video games that will optimize the development of creativity while still retaining their entertainment value.

Related Reading:

Court Strikes Violent Video Game Ban

Video Game Use Explodes Among Preschoolers

Let The Good Games Begin: Online Video Games For Social Change

Image Credit: Flickr – futurilla

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36 comments

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10:27PM PDT on Jul 12, 2013

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5:37AM PST on Nov 14, 2011

I'm with Holly. People need to stop using gadgets to bring up their kids, and learn how to PARENT their kids.
ADHD, and non congenital Autism are spiralling out of control, and people keep buying into the easy option.
I know countless kids who cannot sit still for more than 2 minutes, and will not plaY with a toy that won't light up, move, and make noise. What happenned to jigsaws and lego.

6:44AM PST on Nov 12, 2011

I am thinking. if a writer makes a detailed description of their character, what is the diff between drawing them as "word of god' says, and drawing something someone else did?

or drawing your favorite famous person?

of course many dirivitive works are lacking in creativity, but this is tribute

or are we talking about GTA, packman, Mario type games?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuCQhgr2vkQ

these are the kind I love. it's like playing a story, with running around killing monsters so you get stronger and buy crap to do better in gameplay.

9:57PM PST on Nov 11, 2011

Video games are a babysitter - want a creative child read to them!

8:52PM PST on Nov 11, 2011

While it may help somewhat in hand eye coordination--other studies have been done that say too much play actually has a negative effect on your brain.

12:17PM PST on Nov 11, 2011

I dunno. I fear being influanced and inspired to much, that if I create tales, worlds, characters I'll wind up ripping it off 80%.

hey I know. how a bout a wolf who saves the world from aliens, who has one big star marking on the forhead? who goes and talks to a polar bear, who sends him to find a giant cell in a cave who says to use a time mach...........oh wait, that's too much like Ecco the Dolphin

12:13PM PST on Nov 11, 2011

it's all about balance. that's all. TOO much of one thing is bad. video games on occasion or mixed with the other great things in life, that should be fine. 'nuff said.

10:42AM PST on Nov 11, 2011

I'm not sure if it would make a child more creative but I know for a fact that it can improve motor function and hand and eye co-ordination. I know that for me, it has definitely improved my reactions majorly.

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