The best plan toward improving: Play every other day, suggested Jeff Huang, computer science professor at Brown and lead author of the study.
"My hypothesis is that when you play intensely and repeatedly over and over, you can get stuck in some non-optimal habits," Huang said. "If you come back to the game every other day, you're more likely to discover something new or have time to think of strategies between matches."
That conclusion, explained Huang, contradicts the belief that many people subscribe to: that getting better comes down to the sheer number of hours played.
In other words: Gamers, you might want to throw that long-regarded 10,000 hours of practice rule by the wayside.
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The researchers also looked at whether breaks between games improved a player's skill. They discovered that short breaks are just fine, and when players took a one- to two-day break between games, they gained back any lost skill during the course of the next match they played.