According to New Scientist, playing computer games can warp our perception of what's real and what's virtual -- possibly saving your life in the process.
IT WAS mid-January and the roads in New York were slick with ice. I was driving aimlessly in search of a parking space when, while turning an especially tight bend, I went into a sickening sideways skid and headed straight for a row of snow-covered cars. I wasn't expecting what happened next. Without thinking about what I was doing, I twisted the wheel in a way that I had never done before. It worked: I came out of the skid and drove away unscathed.
It was only after I had parked, legs shaking and heart pounding, that I recognised the reflexes that had kicked in during my moment of panic. This wasn't the first time I had made that emergency steering movement, after all. I had done so countless times before, but on those occasions the wheel in my hands had been a white plastic controller. I had been saved by Mario Kart.
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