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If You Don’t Let Your Kid Play Video Games, Don’t Even Think About Letting Them Drive

Flickr / TATE'S Comics, Inc.

Video games have been blamed for promoting violence in a variety of ways, but surprisingly not the kind that breaks out among parents debating if kids should be allowed play them. If you don’t exactly buy into the anti-gaming propaganda, a study published in the journal Psychological Sciences could give you a good comeback for zealots on the other side: Their kids are going to suck at driving.

Researchers first compared experienced action video game players – those who had played 5 hours a week for at least 6 months — to people with little to no experience, and found that gamers were much better at keeping in their lanes during driving simulations, despite computerized headwinds (you’ve felt the real thing). Taking the experiment further, they recruited more inexperienced players for series of 10 one-hour training sessions, either playing Mario Kart or Roller Coaster Tycoon III — a much more boring game about maintaining amusement parks that served as the control group.

Results showed that those who played Mario Kart displayed improved visuomotor-control skills after only 5 hours of playing, and drove significantly better than people cleaning up virtual puke after the 10 sessions were completed. This isn’t the first time scientists have attempted to defend gaming like a bunch of nerds. Past neurological research says video games can help with memory, so your kid is never going to forget how they learned how to drive. Hopefully they wont tell on you.

[H/T] Yahoo News