Finally good news for parents whose children are sports video-game-playing couch potatoes.

Kids become more creative by playing video games, whether they are violent or nonviolent, according to a recently released study by Michigan State University's Children & Technology Project.

The children played games that included Madden NFL Football, Super Smash Brothers, Animal Crossing, Need For Speed, Half-Life 2, Star Wars and Spider Solitaire.

Studying a group of nearly 500 12-year-olds, researchers found that the more kids played video games, the more creative they became at writing pictures and stories. Those who used the Internet, cell phones and computers in general (without playing video games) didn't have extra creativity.

Boys picked sports games over violent games while the girls chose games that promoted interaction between human and computer generated characters, according to

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Linda Jackson, the lead researcher on the project, hopes the findings will encourage video game designers to identify parts of game activity that are responsible for creative effects.

Madden Football graphics have changed a ton over its 23 years.

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