Improving multi-tasking ability through action videogames

Appl Ergon. 2013 Mar;44(2):278-84. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2012.08.002. Epub 2012 Sep 13.


The present study examined whether action videogames can improve multi-tasking in high workload environments. Two groups with no action videogame experience were pre-tested using the Multi-Attribute Task Battery (MATB). It consists of two primary tasks; tracking and fuel management, and two secondary tasks; systems monitoring and communication. One group served as a control group, while a second played action videogames a minimum of 5 h a week for 10 weeks. Both groups returned for a post-assessment on the MATB. We found the videogame treatment enhanced performance on secondary tasks, without interfering with the primary tasks. Our results demonstrate action videogames can increase people's ability to take on additional tasks by increasing attentional capacity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attention*
  • Awareness*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Reaction Time
  • Task Performance and Analysis*
  • Video Games / psychology*
  • Workload / psychology*
  • Young Adult