In the January 2013 edition of “Scientific American Mind” it reported that numerous studies show that these first person simulation games have potent neurological effects; they “retune connectivity across and within different brain areas”… what does that mean? It means that gamers “learn to learn.” Playing such games apparently gives the ability to the gamer to apply learning to broader tasks... this is called ‘transfer’… and it is the holy grail of education!
But don’t go running home to tell your parents you need to play hours of Call of Duty to help you pass history… the drawbacks to playing such games are significant. Studies show that a rise in game addition is having serious effects on students and adults. In addition, while there has been no study proving that violent games cause violent behavior, there is an increase in aggression during and directly after the playing of these intense, high impact games. Other side effects include children losing the ability to communicate normally in society… (overuse of social medias has similar consequences).
Researchers also argue that it is not the shooting and violence which is beneficial to cognitive development, but the problem solving, multi-layered story lines, the first person point of view, and the multiple streams of rapid information combined with quick decision making. Thus game developers can make games which fit all these things, while not being overly violent.