Study: Kids Get Creativity Boosts from Video Games

Maybe video games aren't all bad ...

Photograph by Ciaran Griffin

Video games usually get a bad rap when it comes to kids and health. But here’s some good news: Researchers at Michigan State University found that the more kids play video games—whether Tetris or Grand Theft Auto—the more creative they are.

A team led by a psychology professor looked at 491 12-year-olds, who were surveyed about video game use and took a test called the Torrance Test of Creativity-Figural, which assesses creativity. The more kids played video games, researchers found, the more creativity they demonstrated when asked to perform tasks like drawing a picture or writing a story.

The kinds of games kids reported playing didn’t seem to matter; violent games got the creative juices flowing just as much as nonviolent ones. And interestingly, they found that devices like cellphones and computers (when used for things other than gaming) and Internet time have no baring on creativity whatsoever.

The study was published online in the journal Computers in Human Behavior.