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Playing video games may not be as bad as we always thought and certain games that foster creative freedom can help in increasing creativity, researchers say. In the experimental study published in the Creativity Research Journal, the researchers analysed 352 participants. They compared the effects of playing Minecraft, with or without instruction, to watching a TV show or playing a race car video game.

After 40 minutes of play or watching TV, the participants completed several creativity tasks. To measure creative production, they were asked to draw a creature from a world much different than Earth. More human-like creatures scored low for creativity and those less human-like scored high.


It was found that those given the freedom to play Minecraft – a game that allows players to explore unique worlds and create anything they can imagine – without instructions were the most creative while those instructed to be creative while playing Minecraft were the least creative.


After 40 minutes of play or watching TV, the participants completed several creativity tasks. Wikimedia Commons

“It’s not just that Minecraft can help induce creativity. There seems to be something about choosing to do it that also matters,” said Douglas Gentile, Professor at the Iowa State University. There is no clear explanation for this finding but there could be some possible reasons why the instructed Minecraft group scored lower, said study lead author Jorge Blanco-Herrera from the varsity.

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“The instructions may have changed subjects’ motivation for play. Being told to be creative may have actually limited their options while playing, resulting in a less creative experience. “It’s also possible they used all their ‘creative juices’ while playing and had nothing left when it came time to complete the test,” he said.

Most video games encourage players to practice some level of creativity. For example, players may create a character and story for role-playing games or be rewarded for creative strategies in competitive games, said researchers. (IANS)


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Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar (57kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) enjoyed fruitful outings at the Tokyo Olympic Games as they secured semifinal berths in their respective weight categories at the Makuhari Messe on Wednesday.

On the opening day of the wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar defeated Bulgaria's Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the last-four in the men's 57kg category, while compatriot Deepak Punia overcame China's Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the semifinals.

Ravi Kumar will take on Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan in the last-four, while Punia will be up against David Morris Taylor of the USA.

Earlier, Ravi Kumar had won his opening-round bout by technical superiority against Colombia's Oscar Tigreros to secure a quarterfinal spot. Competing in the Round-of-16 bout against the Colombian wrestler, the 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who is making his Olympic debut, showed no nerves as he dominated the bout to win by technical superiority (13-2).

Ravi Kumar landed attack after attack and went 13-2 up, winning the bout by technical superiority with minutes to spare. In wrestling, building up a 10-point lead over the opponent results in a victory by technical superiority.

India's 86kg freestyle wrestler Deepak Punia showed no signs of the niggle that had forced him to pull out of the Poland Open Ranking Series in Warsaw in June, as he defeated Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor on technical superiority to secure a quarterfinal berth.

He got his Olympic campaign to a fine start as he was in control from the start of the bout and hardly ever allowed his Nigerian opponent any room to maneuver his moves, finally winning with a 12-1 on technical superiority.

Punia, who had also suffered an elbow injury just before the Games, was slow at the start but came into his own as the bout progressed, inflicting takedowns at regular intervals to earn points.

The Indian wrestler eased into a 4-1 lead at the break and extended his lead comfortably in the second period.

Punia, the silver medallist from the 2019 world wrestling championships, then set up a clash with China's Lin Zushen in the quarterfinals and defeated him 6-3.

(IANS/HP)