Video Games Can Help Kids Focus

By Ryan Winslett in Gaming News
Friday, January 7, 2011 at 10:00 am
Exhibit A: Pure focus
You would think that something as frantic as most video games would be able to hold a kid's attention, but that is apparently not the case.


According to a recent article from Popular Science, however, video games are actually being used in tangent with some state-of-the-art equipment to combat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and help children build focus.


Worn on the arm or leg, the "brain-wave scanner" is a device that senses brainwave activity within the body (Once again proving how uncreative scientists are when it comes to naming things). While your brain is whirring away, it releases tiny amounts of electricity all over the body. The brain-wave scanner is able to pick up on this activity and, depending on the intensity of the activity, distinguish if one is engaged in what they are doing.


The idea is that kids learning to cope with ADHD can play videogames -like the title Play Attention, which was specifically designed for use with the hardware- in order to work on their ability to stay focused. While playing the game, the brain-wave scanner keeps track of all that electrical nonsense going on throughout the body. If the player becomes distracted and levels drop, the game stops functioning properly until full focus resumes.


There's even an on-screen indicator to let the player know if their mind is wandering and, when they're doing particularly well, the game reinforces the focused behavior with positive feedback.


According to popular science, this technology has applications outside of ADHD, including the ability to be utilized in vehicles to let drivers know when they may be too tired to drive or are becoming a bit too overwhelmed by road rage.


All of this, and we still don't have the jetpacks we were promised. Thanks, science!

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