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Cyber partners help you go the distance

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TechAndComputer (May 16, 2012) — A competent, virtual exercise partner can boost motivation and improve team performance.

A new study, testing the benefits of a virtual exercise partner, shows that the presence of a moderately more capable cycling partner boosts motivation to stick to an exercise program. The work by Brandon Irwin and colleagues, from Michigan State University in the US, is published online in Springer's journal, Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

For many people, lack of motivation is a barrier to achieving both the recommended amount and intensity of exercise. Using the principles of group exercise, which is known to increase people's motivation to stick to an exercise program, the researchers...

Kids with cerebral palsy may benefit from video game play

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TechAndComputer (May 7, 2012) — Like their healthy peers, children with disabilities may spend too much time in front of a video screen. For children with cerebral palsy (CP), this leads to an even greater risk of being overweight or developing health issues such as diabetes or musculoskeletal disorders. A group of scientists has found that video games such as Nintendo's Wii offer an enjoyable opportunity to promote light to moderate physical activity in children with CP, and may have a...

Video games can teach how to shoot guns more accurately and aim for the head

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TechAndComputer (Apr. 30, 2012) — Just 20 minutes of playing a violent shooting video game made players more accurate when firing a realistic gun at a mannequin -- and more likely to aim for and hit the head, a new study found.

Players who used a pistol-shaped controller in a shooting video game with human targets had 99 percent more completed head shots to the mannequin than did participants who played other video games, as well as 33 percent more shots that hit other parts of...

World of Warcraft boosts cognitive functioning in older adults

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TechAndComputer (Feb. 22, 2012) — For some older adults, the online video game World of Warcraft (WoW) may provide more than just an opportunity for escapist adventure. Researchers from North Carolina State University have found that playing WoW actually boosted cognitive functioning for older adults - particularly those adults who had scored poorly on cognitive ability tests before playing the game.

"We chose World of Warcraft because it has attributes we felt may produce...

Online role-playing games hurt marital satisfaction, experts say

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TechAndComputer (Feb. 14, 2012) — Online role playing games negatively affect real-life marital satisfaction, according to a new Brigham Young University study published Feb. 15 in the Journal of Leisure Research.

The study reports that 75 percent of spouses of sword-carrying, avatar-loving gamers wish they would put less effort into their guilds and more effort into their marriage. The researchers, led by graduate student Michelle Ahlstrom, and recreation management professor...