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Study: Video games might make you smarter

Study: Video games might make you smarter
Six-year-old Tanner Chen of Altamont, Illinois, has fun playing video games with St. Louis Cardinals outfielder John Rodriquez at Childrens Hospital in St. Louis on October 24, 2006. The Cardinals and Major League Baseball made the donations of machines and video games for the children that must stay at the hospital for their illnesses. (UPI Photo/Bill Greenblatt) | License Photo

STATE COLLEGE, Pa., May 27 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists say they've determined video games that energize players and induce a positive mood might also enhance the players' creativity.

The Pennsylvania State University media researchers also discovered players who were not highly energized and had a negative mood, registered the highest creativity.

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"You need defocused attention for being creative," said Penn State Professor S. Shyam Sundar. "When you have low arousal and are negative, you tend to focus on detail and become more analytical."

Sundar and graduate student Elizabeth Hutton said they are trying to determine the value of video games as a vehicle for sparking positive social traits, such as creativity.

"Video games are not just for entertainment alone," said Sundar. "We are trying to figure out how they can aid in education as well."

The scientists determined either high or low arousal is key to creativity. In other words, medium amounts of arousal aren't conducive to creativity.

Sundar and Hutton presented their findings last week in Montreal during the annual conference of the International Communication Association.

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