Who said video games were bad for you? A recent study conducted by the University of Shanghai and the University of Hong Kong seems to confirm that playing the video game, Mario Kart makes you a better real-life driver.

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But the good news doesn’t stop with Mario Kart. It turns out that some action-based video games, like Mario Kart, sharpen players’ visual motor skills, which translates into them performing tasks, like driving, better. These improvements in motor skills happen when people play action-based video games like Mario Kart, which then increases the coordination between incoming visual stimulation and muscle responses.

Mario Kart 1

The study was conducted by dividing 80 students and university faculty members into two groups. One group got to play Mario Kart 8 on a steering wheel, while the second ground played Rollercoaster Tycoon III. All of the study’s participants then had to control a simulation vehicle in bad weather conditions. The study found that the group which played Mario Kart were better at driving than the other group which played Rollercoaster Tycoon III.

The researches found that playing action-based video games like Mario Kart “in general improves the responsiveness of the sensorimotor  system to input error signals“.

The findings support a causal link between action gaming (for as little as 5 hours) and enhancement in visuomotor control, and suggest that action video games can be beneficial training tools for driving.

We love video games and reckon they have plenty of health and other benefits. We even think that playing the new popular Pokémon GO mobile game is good for you. We’re excited that more positive study results are revealed, compared to the usual “video games are from the devil” nay-sayers.

Do you think playing action-based video games are able to improve your driving skills?

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