Don’t be any of these people…

As we prepare for a new year of blogging and commenting, NPR reminds us of the 20 people we’re likely to meet in the comments section.

Story on gaming and cognitive skills

Video Games Boost Brain Power, Multitasking Skills” discusses the work of Daphne Bavelier on gaming and cognitive skills. From the introduction to the story:

Daphne Bavelier is professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester. She studies young people playing action video games. Having now conducted more than 20 studies on the topic, Bavelier says, “It turns out that action video games are far from mindless.”

Her studies show that video gamers show improved skills in vision, attention and certain aspects of cognition. And these skills are not just gaming skills, but real-world skills. They perform better than non-gamers on certain tests of attention, speed, accuracy, vision and multitasking, says Bavelier.

In addition to the written story, you can also listen to the radio story.

A great read.

If you’re looking for a great read about video games, check out Tom Bissel’s book, “Extra Lives: Why video games matter.”  The book is a combination of memoir and reportage on video game culture (and addiction). The first chapter, where the author explains his infatuation with Fallout 3, is a tour-de-force.

Here’s a Newsweek summary/review of the book.

Bissell also gave a great interview about the book on NPR’s On the Media (this blogger’s favorite radio program).

On the Media delves into video games

Were you up at 7am on New Year’s Day?  Didn’t think so.  So you might have missed my favorite NPR show, On the Media that morning – and they did an amazing hour-long show on video games, how they affect us, how they reflect and change our culture, and where it’s all headed. But fear not, they make a podcast of this stuff, and you can access it here. They also post convenient links to some all-time great talks on video games.