Playing fast-paced action games like shooters can have powerful and positive effects on the human brain, according to cognitive researcher Daphne Bavalier in a TED presentation.
In her talk, Bavalier presents data that suggests regular doses of action-packed gaming can have positive effects in areas where most people believe it would have a detrimental impact. One such example is eyesight. Studies conducted by Bavalier found that those who don't play games tend to have normal eyesight while those who spend five to fifteen hours per week gaming had better vision because they were able to resolve small details in the context of clutter.
Gamers who took part in the research were also able to resolve different shades of gray better than non-gamers.
Another area that Bavalier says gamers performed better than non-gamers was in tracking objects. Where non-gamers were only able to track three to four objects at a time, those who regularly played games were able to track six or seven.
The complete 17 minute TED talk can be viewed above.