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Lilo's Lair #35: Gamers Make Good Drone Pilots and Surgeons. Presented by Saljack Enterprises. Gaming. Animation. Media. Entertainment. Woman Owned.

Us gamers have been the brute of some abuse. Our hobby is not always as respected as other hobbies. Baby Boomers seem to especially like trashing the hobby as a brain cell killer. No benefit to gaming, they say! It’s frustrating and can get to us gamers eventually. I know I sometimes compare my gaming hobby to more “respected hobbies” and wonder if I’m actually spending my time well. It’s so goofy because gaming makes me happy, and there is no better hobby than that. However, now there is scientific proof that the happiness from gaming is not the only benefit.

At the University of Liverpool, the Psychology, Health & Society Institute decided to do a little study with UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles). In this study, they wanted to figure out who could pilot these drones better. Specifically, they wanted to see how gamers and pilots compared to each other.

Image result for mq 1-predator

IMAGE FROM MILITARY-TODAY

Now, drones have actually been around a while, and in the past, they were operated in much the same way planes were flown. These days, not so much. The popular boys on the scene are the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper. These bad boys are used by the United States Air Force for missions. These drones are popular and need pilots. However, there are not enough professional pilots with airtime to fill the positions. So, who makes a good pilot other than professional pilots?

For this recent study, they took gamers, pilots, and a control group and pitted them against one another. The first measuring was all about personality aspects such as how agreeable they are, how open they are to new experiences, neuroticism, how conscientious they were, and how extroverted. Those personality aspects can help to identify how a person will react in certain situations. Professional pilots were shown to score better in key personality features.

Next came piloting the UAV. Each group was tested on a full flight from take off to set down. In each part of the flight, the person would be given a situation where quick and possible risky decisions had to be made. Gamers scored nearly as well as trained professional pilots! Wow!

Why did gamers score so high? They think it’s a combination of factors. One of the most obvious being great hand-eye coordination. There was an older study, back in 2007, that showed that gamers have better hand-eye coordination than the general population. The study actually revealed that gamers could make better surgeons than most people. Not only did they make fewer errors, but they completed the job faster!

Image result for Screenshot

IMAGE FROM GOOGLE PLAY

The second reason gamers might do so well flying UAVs is the ability to multi-task. This is something true for all heavy internet users. There have been several studies that actually look into the brains of older generations that are not so internet savvy, and internet dwellers such as me (and probably you). The connections in the brain are wired differently. Whereas the internet shunner can sustain attention span longer, the internet savvy can move their focus around faster and make quicker connections. Think of the internet savvy brain more like a google search engine, compared to the internet shunner’s library brain. There is a great book all about this called The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains.

However, gamers probably have an even better ability to multi-task than the average heavy internet user. I think that because in games their attention is forced to multi-task to have success. With the way, drones are piloted now the ability to multi-task is a great asset.

The final reason they think gamers probably do so well piloting is due to an emotional disconnect to the “game.” Professional pilots have real first-hand experience of actual flights where fear plays a part. Gamers do not. Gamers also are known to have an emotional distance between games and the real world. Piloting the UAVs is more like a game, where you are controlling something through a screen. This less emotional aspect that gamers offer can help to make unclouded decisions.

Now this study isn’t the first time gamers have been looked at as potential UAV pilots for the military. The military is creating more and more drone pilot jobs than there are professional pilots with flight time. What they are doing is replacing these professional pilots with cadets who have tons of hours of video game time. These new drone pilots get a flight training as well, but it’s sort of crazy to think they are made to play tons of video games to make them more capable of flying these UAVs.

There are even UAVs that use a PlayStation 2 controller for the menus. Now that just screams that they have gamers flying these drones. Not only do they have these new pilots playing video games, but they like finding recruits who already have hundreds of hours of gaming experience!

What do you think? How’s a career in the military flying drones sound? Though I doubt the military will be the only ones in need for drone pilots considering Amazon wants to start making deliveries using drones. Or, perhaps you are more interested in being a laparoscopic surgeon? Take a look at any job that requires great hand-eye coordination, and I bet gamers will have a leg up.


Click here to read Lilo Nash’s profile

DISCLAIMER: THE VIEWS AND OPINIONS EXPRESSED IN THIS POST ARE SOLELY THOSE OF THE AUTHOR. THESE VIEWS AND OPINIONS DO NOT NECESSARILY REPRESENT THOSE OF SALJACK ENTERPRISES, ITS STAFF, AND ANY/ALL CONTRIBUTORS TO THE SALJACK ENTERPRISES WEBSITES. SALJACK ENTERPRISES MAKES NO WARRANTY OR REPRESENTATION REGARDING, DOES NOT ENDORSE, IS NOT AFFILIATED WITH AND IS NOT IN ANY WAY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LINKED WEBSITES OR ANY CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON IT. IF YOU DECIDE TO VISIT ANY LINKED WEBSITE, YOU DO SO AT YOUR OWN RISK, AND IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO REVIEW THE TERMS OF USE OF THE RELEVANT LINKED WEBSITE.

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15 thoughts on “Lilo’s Lair #35: Gamers Make Good Drone Pilots and Surgeons

  1. ho says:

    completely agree with you. playing video regularly does improve multi tasking ability although parents beg to differ.

    Like

  2. unvrso says:

    Playing games is not a waste of time after all. If i´m consider to make a career, I would like to fly an airplane. That is another gaming interest; I like simulation games

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  3. wokerful says:

    Chossing form a surgeon or pilot, I would choose a surgeon. The medical area has always interested me. It´s good to know that playing games improves our habilities

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  4. mchesk16 says:

    Based on these findings, they should implement video games more at schools. It would make the students more engaged than at lectures or with typical homework assignments.

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  5. pretty interesting. it would be beneficial to me emotionally disconnected in these situations too. think about cutting someone and being worried or apprehensive versus someone who was just doing the ‘job’.

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  6. Maybe surgeons is a little bit on a stretch here. I do agree with the drone pilot assessment. This is a refreshing article if you ask me.

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  7. Mau says:

    I understand how gaming could make people be a better drone pilot and perhaps a surgeon. But I hope people wouldn’t make this as an excuse to go gaming all the time. Balance is always key.

    Like

  8. charleenmae says:

    Playing games makes us a better person. Improves some of our skills such as critical thinking and problem solving. Just need to learn to keep it in moderation. Some gets addicted and thats the bad thing. I saw my sister play the surgeon game.

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  9. I disagree with that notion sort of. Simulations are different from the real thing. It is like saying I can fly a plane because I played SPACE IMPACT.

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  10. micorobin says:

    OMG Miaka that made me remember something in movies where in someone is on the driver seat just because of games ha ha. Crazy thing is it works in movies that is.

    Like

  11. edg4r32 says:

    Gamers have great hand-eye coordination? I beg to disagree… we have UNPARALLLED hand-eye coordination! It takes a lot of skill mashing ’em controllers/keyboards on one hand and chugging down beer or grabbing chips with the other. And nope, a gamer wouldn’t even be looking at whatever he’s trying to reach.. his/her eyes would simply be glued to the screen the entire time. 😀 ha ha ha

    Like

  12. teddclark58 says:

    Sure, gamers will probably excel controlling UAVs… but performing surgery? WHAT?! I know a lot of gamers who turn into rolling balls of vomit at the sight of realistic gore. So this one’s defo a stretch.

    Like

  13. Lilo~ I really agree with you. Gamers have better coordination, concentration and problem solving skills that will help them to become good pilot or surgeon.

    Like

  14. stephanie254 says:

    Hahaha. I’m not sure i totally agree with this but it does baffle me every time I watch my little brother games like NFS.. Like how Tf are you watching the road and pressing the keyboard with your tiny hands and running away from the police without veering off the road. Great hand-eye coordination!! That I cannot dispute.

    Like

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