Effect of mobile phone games on reaction time
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Objectives: To observe an association between playing mobile games and reaction time among students aged 18-25 years. Variation in reaction time with types of games, time spent on gaming, age of starting to play and time of day was studied.
Study Type: Case-Control Study
Methods: 94 participants studying MBBS in University College of Medical Sciences were included in the study after they consented to participate. Their gaming status was recorded and reaction time tested using Tap reaction time test and Reaction time ruler test. Unpaired t-test was applied to compare the reaction time of gamers and non-gamers.
Results: The average reaction time was 0.488 s (+0.012 s) for gamers and 0.535s (+0.020s) for non-gamers with Tap reaction time test. With the Reaction time ruler test the average reaction time of gamers was 0.182s (+0.030s) and 0.196s (+0.030s) for non-gamers. First reading was found to be higher than the rest. Age of commencement of playing did not significantly affect the reaction time. The increase in variety of games and number of days a person plays per week yielded better reaction times. Time of the day significantly affected tap reaction time test but not the reaction time ruler test.
Conclusion: People qualifying as gamers record lower response times than non-gamers. This may enable designers to create fit games for individuals with slower response time. Gaming can also benefit the medical professionals by enabling them to react much faster in life and death situations and increasing the proficiency in daily management of patients.
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