ByMarcus O'Shea, writer at Creators.co
Resident RPG nerd and SoulsBorne fanatic. Can be spotted by their floofy hair.
Marcus O'Shea

A new study by the University of Hong Kong may have just given you the best excuse to keep playing Grand Theft Auto V. According to science, all that reckless driving on the streets of San Andreas have actually made you a better driver than before.

How Science Says 'GTA V' Makes You A Better Driver

No word yet on how drivers handled explosive conditions on the road. [Credit: Rockstar]
No word yet on how drivers handled explosive conditions on the road. [Credit: Rockstar]

The study, which was published recently by the a journal for the Association for Psychological Science came to the conclusion that as little as 5 to 10 hours of action gaming can improve your coordination and skills at a variety of tasks, most notably driving.

The study tested two groups of people. One group reported at least 5 or more hours of action gaming a week (so no Farmville or chess here) for at least six months, while the second group either didn't play games at all or played games that did not rely on twitch reflexes and strong hand-eye coordination.

The two groups were then put through a series of tests. The first was to handle a simulated car driving down the center of a road at 33 miles per hour while occasionally dealing with hazards such as strong cross winds.

Next, the groups were put in charge of an extremely sensitive precision joystick and asked to move a dot from one side of the screen to the other while keeping the line as straight as possible.

If the intro to the article hadn't clued you in, it turns out that people who regularly play reflex based had a much easier time with both tasks. They could handle driving around hazards with ease, and their precision control was impeccable.

As Little As Ten Hours Gaming Can Improve Your Skills

Test subjects were trained to play Unreal Tournament 2004 to improve their skills [Credit: Epic Games]
Test subjects were trained to play Unreal Tournament 2004 to improve their skills [Credit: Epic Games]

After they established a strong causal link between action gaming and improved coordination, the scientists at the University of Hong Kong took things a step further. They took a group of people who had never played action games in any notable amount and split them in to two groups.

One group was given Unreal Tournament 2004 to train with and play, while the second was given The Sims 2. After just ten hours of play, the Unreal Tournament group showed a marked improvement over the group playing The Sims 2 in tests of hand-eye coordination, motor skills and reflexes. They also knew where all the good weapon spawns were.

The researchers concluded that training with action games such as GTA and Call of Duty had a positive effects on hand-eye coordination and reflexes, they also suggested that these skills would have a positive effect on everyday driving. So next time someone tells you you're playing too much , tell them to stuff it—you're just improving your driving skills in a hazardous environment.

Do you believe the study? Has it inspired you to start a new video games training regiment? Let us know in the comments!

Source (Association for Psychological Science)

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