FA16 Project 6 week 15


Playing tabletop games improves your memory

Exam scores were calculated for 6th grade ESL students from a middle school both before and after playing the tabletop game, WordPlay.   Once the scores were collected they were then calculated to determine if there was any improvement in memory.As a result of playing this game it was determined that there was an increase in memory.

ELLs-7.63% increase; IEPs-7.16% increase; Regular -6.58% increase.These results are evidence which support the thesis that playing tabletop games improves memory.

Discovering if there is a correlation between playing games and memory is important.  Currently there are researchers out there who have failed to see a relationship between video game playing and memory.

However there are others who strongly believe there is a correlation and have the research to prove it.  There were several studies done to show the effects of playing games, in particular video games, on ones working memory. As a result of the studies the researchers suggest that over time there is an improvement in memory and attention due to the nature of the games.

Similar my experiment proves that there is indeed an improvement in memory over time which is a result of playing games that stimulate your brain.

My experiment solves a major problem in the field because based on a few studies; memory has become an increasing issue. As we age our memory starts to decline with simple   things like forgetting where we put our keys.  To combat this decline it’s recommended to engage in activities that help to strengthen your brain such as exercise, playing games or learning new skills.

Closing in the gap regarding whether game playing helps improve memory or not is important because it can be a tool to help patients with dementia, Alzheimer’s or ADHD in the future.

One study done at John Hopkins University tested the memory of 34 males both before and after playing action and non-action games. The result showed that there wasn’t a significant increase in playing action vs. non action games.

However, another study done at University of California suggests that playing video games does improve your memory particularly 3D vs. 2D games. The researcher says that the 3D games stimulate the hippocampus in the brain and increases attention as well.  Additionally, Another study suggests that computerized games can have a long and short term benefit to individuals. Students in 1st grade, who didn’t attend school on a regular basis, played computerized games for less than 6 hours a day over a 10 week range. After the 10 week range the students felt encouraged to attend school and catch up with the work of their peers in math and language.

This relates to my experiment because I chose to focus on how memory is affected among grade school children regarding their ability to learn a new language by remembering words that are commonly found in the English dictionary.

The problem with this study is that because the subjects participated in this study during school time they were only able to partake for a limited time. Also, not all students were able to participate in the study which may have yielded different results.

Based on my result it shows that   engaging in a board game such as WordPlay which is designed to help stimulate the brain does have an effect on the memory for 6th grade ESL students.

Although this experiment does show a correlation in memory as a result of playing games it only looks at this relationship for three different groups of learners. If I were to perform this experiment again I would divide the groups up by ethnicity, or even gender. My guess is that woman may perform better since they typically have better spatial skills however men typically play video games which have been proven to increase memory.  Additionally,  I would like to try this game on people who have be proven to have a decline their memory to see if there are improvements among them.


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About Robert O. Duncan

I'm an Assistant Professor of Behavioral Sciences at City University of New York, with joint appointments in Neuroscience and Cognitive Neuroscience. I also have an appointment as a Visiting Scholar at New York University. My research interests include cognitive neuroscience, functional magnetic resonance imaging, glaucoma, neurodegenerative disorders, attention, learning, memory, educational technology, pedagogy, and developing games for education.

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