Action Games Improve Spatial Skills (Especially for Women)
The October 2007 issue of Psychological Science contains an article called "Playing an Action Video Game Reduces Gender Differences in Spatial Cognition." When tested, women frequently have a less developed sense of high-level spatial cognition than men.
However, the authors (Jing Feng, Ian Spence and Jay Pratt) determined that after only 10 hours of training with an action video game, undergraduate test subjects who don't typically play video games improved their spatial skills. That improvement also narrowed the gender gap, bringing the women so tested more closely in line with the men. The implication of the study (and it needs considerable additional research) is that by playing action-heavy games, female students can narrow certain gaps with men that can be disadvantages in the fields of math and engineering.