Videogames made me creative

It’s official now, confirmed by Michigan State University scientists Linda A. Jackson et al.:

Kids playing video games are more creative than their non-gaming fellows, regardless of gender and ethnicity or the level of violence involved. Kind of surprising, since I always thought building treehouses with limbs of wood or painting would be essentials for imagination and creativity. Maybe they are, – even more crucial -, but on the average hanging out in front of your Xbox might add a bit of creative possibilities to the lot.

So Linda took nearly 500 12-year olds and devided them into groups related to use of computers, internet, video games and cellular phones. The results show that creaticity of gamers is in average significantly higher than for the other groups. There were slight interrelations between the use of information technology, but the influencing factor has been gaming. Gamers associated to violent gaming score average, racing gamers the lowest, ‘interpersonal’ games are played by 4% of the male gamers and 25% of the female gamers, – scoring highest concerning creativity, though.

Don’t be fooled by what I cut from the paper, there is no relation between gender and creativity (I’d say it’s just the channels of output that are quite different), since the other categories make up for the example of ‘interpersonal’ games.

Apart from that it’s still true: boys are more likely to be gamers than girls.

What struck me the most about the study: ‘Higher incomes were associated with greater creativity’ – What the %^$#?


Concerning my personal view, the main thesis is not too surprising. Gaming involves more forced interaction or reaction than the other activites, meaning stimulation to the brain. By finding ways to solve problems or reaching certain points, you’ll just have to learn to choose a way you might not have thought of before. That is what creativity is about, isn’t it?

Anyway, too much will be too much. I think every influence will contribute to creativity. At least more than just not doing it. If gaming prevents you from making other experiences you will mostly end up quite overweight in the first place.

Creativity on the other hand mostly is not about inventing something completely new but putting pieces you already learned together in a new context, we know that since we learned how to steal like an artist. And it is true, new content is created when you are able to transfer knowledge to different fields, – this is what will trigger the process of creating really new stuff.

Finally, I will leave you with a question I left out to be answered all the time: How, in the world, would you measure creativity?


‘Information technology use and creativity: Findings from the Children and Technology Project’ on ‘Computers in Human Behavior’, Sciencedirect



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