See, Video Games Are Good for You

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See, Video Games Are Good for You

allstate jeweldiver.jpg Games and virtual reality simulators are becoming increasingly popular tools for training by the army, various police forces and even in medical applications. If a new pilot program called "InSight" pans out for Allstate, though, the next place you could be seeing video games is at the local DMV.

Allstate is currently piloting a new program which seeks to find out if playing driving video games could make better drivers out of those over age 50.

If the study shows that it can, the insurance company plans to offer discounts to mature drivers who pass the online tests and the current, single-state pilot would be spread across other states next year.

The initial run at the program is taking place in Pennsylvania, where select drivers aged 50 to 75 will be brought in to test out the special games as part of a free option in the customers' current insurance plan. The total number of hours played by this experimental group will be tracked and then accident rates will be compared to a control group that had no contact with the games.

Posit Science, a software developer from San Francisco, is behind the games in question. Surprisingly, the games aren't actually driving simulators (what no Mario Kart or Crazy Taxi?!), but rather various types of other brain-challenging games specifically designed to test and improve certain mental capacities.

Unlike most brain-fitness software, InSight is designed to "reverse age-related cognitive decline and greatly improve a driver's visual alertness," according to a company press release. InSight claims that its software can reduce dangerous driving maneuvers by up to 40% and significantly increase reaction rates for stopping distance and lower general crash risk as well.

Get more at Ars Technica.

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