Grade Level: 6th - 12th; Type: Social Science
Design an experiment that tests whether or not playing video games affects on-road performance. The goals of this project are:
- To learn if playing video games affects driving skills.
- To encourage responsible behavior in teens and young adults.
- What skills are practiced when playing video games?
- What skills are used when driving an automobile?
- How do insurance companies and law enforcement define a “clean” driving record?
It's been said that video game playing improves hand-eye coordination. If this is true, could playing video games also improve performance at other activities that require the same types of skills? This project is designed to help answer that question.
- Computer with Internet access
- Color printer
- Digital camera
- Typical office/hobby/hardware/craft supplies (paper, poster board, glue, etc.).
- 60 adult volunteers
All necessary materials can be found in or around your home, at local stores, or on ebay.
- Read overview of relevant topics (see bibliography below and terms listed above)
- Address all of the above terms and research questions.
- Search and print out interesting images relevant to your topic.
- Take photographs throughout the course of the experiment.
- Create three groups of volunteers: Find 20 volunteers who do NOT play video games. Find another 20 volunteers who play video games regularly, including “driving” games, the kind that require the player to operate a virtual vehicle. Find 20 more volunteers who play video games regularly, but few or no driving games. Ideally, all volunteers should have at least three years of on-road driving experience.
- Find out from each volunteer the number of moving or parking violations (tickets) received during 2010.
- Also find out the number of accidents in which the driver was involved during 2010. Accidents include any unintentional impact of a moving vehicle with any other object. Record all collisions, including minor fender benders, regardless of circumstances like who was at fault.
- Analyze your data.
- Interpret your findings in a detailed statistical report.
- Include photos, diagrams and demonstrations in your science fair display.
Terms/Concepts: Motor Control; Proprioception
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye%E2%80%93hand_coordination (A description of hand-eye coordination)
- http://www.articlesbase.com/video-games-articles/video-games-improve-children-skills-905249.html (BAD SCIENCE ALERT!!! A hasty assumption about video gaming and driving skills, with no evidence cited to support it.)
- Internet searches of your choosing. Search words or terms listed here, or make up your own phrases. Click on any results you find interesting. Have fun surfing the net!
Warning is hereby given that not all Project Ideas are appropriate for all individuals or in all circumstances. Implementation of any Science Project Idea should be undertaken only in appropriate settings and with appropriate parental or other supervision. Reading and following the safety precautions of all materials used in a project is the sole responsibility of each individual. For further information, consult your state’s handbook of Science Safety.