Video gaming children 'more creative'
Children who play video games are more creative than those who don't, according to a new study.
Researchers at Michigan State University, in the United States, found that playing video games was linked to greater creativity, regardless of the type of game played.
Linda Jackson, the professor of psychology at Michigan State who led the research, said that the findings should encourage game designers to try to discover what it is about video games that stimulates creativity.
She said: "Once they do that, video games can be designed to optimize the development of creativity while retaining their entertainment values such that a new generation of video games will blur the distinction between education and entertainment."
Boys play more video games than girls, the study found, and they are more likely to prefer violent games or sport games, while girls tend to prefer games involving interaction.
The study tested almost 500 12-year-olds against the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking, which examine problem-solving and story-telling skills.
While video games were linked to increased creativity, general computer use and the use of mobile phones and the internet do not lead to increased creativity, the researchers found.
Jackson added: "We are the first to look at creativity and technology use, finding that no other technologies except video games was positively related to creativity."
Researchers also found that children who play video games have better 'visual-spatial' skills, which are considered important in developing skills in science and engineering disciplines in later life.
The study, which has been published online, will appear next year in the journal Computers in Human Behaviour.