Participants in a study who played 18 rounds of a video golf game that used a motion controller to simulate putting did significantly better at real-world putting than a group that played a video-game with a push-button controller and better than participants who had no video game training.
Motion controllers require players to use their own bodies to control the movements of the video game's avatar. "What we can infer from this is that the putting motion in the game maps onto a real putting behaviour closely enough that people who had 18 holes of practice putting with the
motion controllers actually putt better than the group that spent 45 minutes or so, using the push-button controller to make putts," said Edward Downs, former doctoral student in mass communications, at Pennsylvania State University.
The researchers suggest that motion-controlled video games, as well as future virtual reality devices are turning video games into simulations.
"It seems to us that we've crossed an evolutionary line in game history where video games are no longer just video games any more, they have become simulators," said Downs, currently associate professor of communication, University of Minnesota-Duluth.