Monday, December 31, 2012

Another claim of gaming benefits

Yesterday I wrote an extended piece about the lack of strong evidence supporting benefits of videogame training. In Today's Guardian/Observer, Vaughan Bell makes the same claim that the Scientific American Mind article did (see also his MindHacks blog post). Unlike that article, he did mention that some researchers have raised questions about the methods in that literature, but then claimed that there have since been other better-designed studies. The article provides no citations to better-designed studies, and I know of exactly zero that have adequately addressed the Boot et al critiques.

Other than mentioning that some people suggest there are problems, he also gave no coverage to the types of problems undermining claims of gaming benefits. We need more critical coverage of these claims of benefits, not more hyping of the claims. He gave much more critical discussion of the videogame/violence claims. How about giving the same level of critical thought to the gaming/benefits claims. It seems to be a trend to use the cognitive benefits claim as an unquestioned way to offset the games are bad for you claim.