Oak Park CASA Student Jaylon Johnson Explores…

Oak Park CASA Student Jaylon Johnson Explores Benefits of Video Games

(Crystal A. Proxmire, May 12, 2019)

Oak Park, MI – Jaylon Johnson, a senior at Oak Park High and a student at Center for Advanced Studies and the Arts, likes playing video games.

So much so that one day he hopes to design them.  That’s why he was excited to be able to make video games the topic of his senior class research project at CASA.  He was one of three students selected to showcase their work at the Center’s recent anniversary celebration and open house.

“People always think video games don’t do anything,” Johnson said.  “They rot your brain.  They’re all about violence. With this stereotype out there, I wanted to do research of who can benefit from video games.”

His idea was that playing video games could improve one’s reaction time for sports.  “Or there may be an accident and they many need to react quick,” he said.  Other applications of video games helping are in hospitals when learning coordination is a part of recovery, and in first responder trainings.

Johnson had a group of ten students he was working with for several weeks.  He had students do a computer based reaction test. Then he had test subjects abstain from video games for a week and they were re-tested.  Then the subjects played the Fortnite video game for an hour a day for three weeks and they were tested again.  Lastly they gave up games for another two weeks and were tested again.

Data was collected to see the individuals increase or decrease in response time through a computer program.

“For the most part, reaction time got worse when not playing video games,”  Johnson said. There were two students whose results did not fit into the pattern.

“Two females did better in the detox weeks,” he said… “There could be reasons for the outliers, maybe they didn’t follow the rules, or maybe something physiological was going on, like they may have not been feeling well that day.”

On average – with the outliers excluded – test subject improved their response time by .03 seconds.

Johnson said he would like to keep digging into video game benefits.  “I would like to see if video games could improve other aspects of teenagers such as memory,” he said.

At CASA students are able to select a project that matters to them.  Johnson and two others made presentations at the open house.

CASA is a consortium school that provides higher level classes for students in the Berkley, Clawson, Ferndale, Lamphere, Madison, Oak Park and Pontiac School districts. It began in 1983, serving 35 students with four classes.  Now there is an entire catalogue including AP level courses and the arts. Students go to their home high schools in the morning and come to CASA in the afternoon. CASA offers 16 Advanced Placement classes in all major subject areas, an advanced visual arts program, a robust dance program, three world languages and many unique electives students cannot find in their home schools.

Check out more pictures and stories from the open house HERE.

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