COLUMBUS, Ohio – Just 20 minutes of playing a violent shooting video game made players more accurate when firing a realistic gun at a mannequin – and more likely to aim for and hit the head, a new study found.
Players who used a pistol-shaped controller in a shooting video game with human targets had 99 percent more completed head shots to the mannequin than did participants who played other video games, as well as 33 percent more shots that hit other parts of the body.
In addition, the study found that participants who reported habitual playing of violent shooting games also were more accurate than others when shooting at the mannequin, and made more head shots.
It’s not surprising that video games can improve shooting accuracy — the military, police departments and others already use video games for training purposes, said Brad Bushman, co-author of the study and a professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State University.
But this is the first study to show that average players using violent shooting games with realistic human targets can improve firing aim and accuracy.
“For good and bad, video game players are learning lessons that can be applied in the real world,” Bushman said.