Videogaming reduces a gender difference

University of Toronto researchers not only found that there's a "spatial attention" difference between men and women, but also that women can catch up to men in this ability rapidly to switch attention among different objects by playing videogames "for only a few hours." "One important application of this research could be in helping to attract more women to the mathematical sciences and engineering – since spatial skills play an important role in these professions," the university's news site quotes Prof. Ian Spence as saying. While we're on the subject, don't miss a thoughtful piece in the New York Times about what needs to happen before videogames are an art form on the level of film. "If games are to become more than mere entertainment, they will need to use the fundamentals of gameplay — giving players challenges to work through and choices to make — in entirely new ways…. Like cinema, games will need to embrace the dynamics of failure, tragedy, comedy and romance. They will need to stop pandering to the player’s desire for mastery in favor of enhancing the player’s emotional and intellectual life."

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