Is Call of Duty better than The Sims?

There’s a lot of research out there showing that playing video games actually benefits kids (and adults) in a variety of ways. But what about action games? The media and politicians love to criticize action games, claiming that they make players violent. But new research from the University of Rochester may put an end to that discussion. It turns out that violent action games (like Call of Duty) are actually better in many ways than playing calmer games (like The Sims).

The following is an excerpt from a press release from the University about this fascinating study.

A new study shows for the first time that playing action video games improves not just the skills taught in the game, but learning capabilities more generally.

“Prior research by our group and others has shown that action gamers excel at many tasks. In this new study, we show they excel because they are better learners,” explained Daphne Bavelier, a research professor in brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester. “And they become better learners,” she said, “by playing the fast-paced action games.”
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Write Your Way Into Elite Colleges


Ashley Wellington, author of Admissions Essay Boot Camp.
Topic:
How to write your way into the elite college of your dreams.
Issues: Identifying your student “type”; brainstorming and other exercises; creating outlines and drafts; making your essay unique; how to handle tough topics; what topics to stay away from and why.

What to Expect When You’re Adopting + Admissions Essay Bootcamp


Mary Ostyn, author of Forever Mom.
Topic:
What to expect when you’re adopting.
Issues: Navigating the difficult road to adopting a child; preparing your other children for new siblings; help babies, toddlers, and other children settle in; address misbehavior while remaining connected; dealing with cultural difference; nurturing your marriage throughout.


Ashley Wellington, author of Admissions Essay Boot Camp.
Topic:
How to write your way into the elite college of your dreams.
Issues: Identifying your student “type”; brainstorming and other exercises; creating outlines and drafts; making your essay unique; how to handle tough topics; what topics to stay away from and why.

Did You Eat Your Vegetables? Really? Are You Sure?

We all know that we should be eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, and we all know about the many health benefits, including reductions in diabetes, cardiovascular events (heart disease, heart attack, stroke), and even some cancers. Only 11 percent of the U.S. population currently meets the daily targets for vegetable consumption, while just 20 percent meet the guideline for fruit, according to researchers at Yale. Asking people—especially kids—whether they’ve eaten what they’re supposed to produces notoriously inaccurate results. But researchers have discovered that a special laser that measure a compound in the skin can tell exactly how much we’re getting.

Depending on your age, sex, and level of physical activity, we should eat anywhere from 1 cup to 3 cups of fruits and veggies every day. Visually, that’s about half of everything on our plate at every meal. And most of us tend to greatly overestimate how much we’re actually eating. The compound being measured is called carotenoids, and levels vary according to fruit and vegetable intake.
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When Is a Chore Not a Chore?

Dear Mr. Dad: What is the deal with chores? I did them, my parents did them, and so did my grandparents. I don’t have children of my own, but I’ve noticed that very few of my friends’ kids seem to have any chores or responsibilities at all. What is going on?

A: When I was young, chores were something that contributed to the good of the family, and every kid I knew did them (according to a recent poll done by Whirlpool earlier this year, 82% of American adults did chores when they were growing up). But today, the word “chore” has taken on a completely different—and completely absurd—meaning. In a lot of cases, it has no meaning at all. According to that same Whirlpool poll, only 28% of parents say they assign to their children the same chores they did when they were young.
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