The multifaceted gaming industry faces backlash and acclamation to its role in human intelligence. The never-ending tussle between boomer parents and Gen Z gamers breeds new information on its impact on intelligence. Parents are worried about the cognitive deterioration that video games supposedly cause. Gen Z gamers attribute their intelligence to playing casino and online video games like the games on Happy Luke necessitate users to leverage their wit. The long-term impact the games have on cognitive development is what is contentious.
In this research-led write-up, we lay the bare facts and statistics for you to see. We analyze every aspect of the gaming industry that influences intelligence and make succinct inferences. Finally, we answer if the games make you smarter. Also, we provide reputable games to increase your intelligence.
The Intelligent Connection
Let’s get this out of the way. There’s fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence that gaming can influence. The latter involves using experience from past situations and information to decide. In contrast, the former’s decision-making depends on inherent decision-making abilities in novel situations.
Gaming alters both types of intelligence. A study from York’s Department of Computer Science and Technology shows a direct correlation between League of Legends sores and conventional intelligence tests. The study focuses on a subpopulation of gamers in the strategy action game League of Legends. Data from the study shows players who scored 115-120 on IQ tests performed well and earned a spot in the top 15% of the League of Legends player population.
Another study is imperative to cement the link between gaming and intelligence further. The McDermott-led study showed that action video players handled better memory retention tasks than their nongamer counterparts.
The statistics show that gaming influences both crystal and fluid intelligence. Strategy game players returned better IQ tests than first-person shooter game players. The difference is, however, marginal.
How Do Games Influence Intelligence?
Intellectually demanding games impart a chest trove of skills on a gamer. The skills help shape the gamer’s long-term cognitive abilities. However, it’s not straightforward, such as, if you play Call of Duty, you will be intelligent. The working principle is far from it.
Gaming improves memory retention, problem-solving skills, creativity, visual-spatial, reaction times, and social skills. The different skills blend to improve your cerebral advantage. As Isabela Granic, a behavioral science professor at Radboud University, puts it,” If you take people who’ve never played video games before and have them play for four weeks, you will see improvement in spatial skills, which is directly related to performance in STEM coursework and ability.”
Skills you can Gain from Playing Online Games
Video and online games confer multiple skills. The skills influence both the psychological and physiological elements of the gamer. Important skills you can gain include:
- Spatial skills
Gamers display better processing abilities of complex visual problems. Video games usually have complex environments that require mastering them and fast processing ability.
Gamers who mostly play role-playing games (RPG) can discern the focus objects and eliminate the peripheral distractions. Spatial skills are extremely useful in tracking visual streams common in design simulation.
Video games, in particular, have virtual environments that you must be aware of to navigate. RPG games and first-person shooter games require selective attention when playing.
You can hone your attention skills by playing such games and assigning your mental acumen to the priority tasks. Over time, you get better at automatically assigning your attention to areas you deem fit in the real world.
- Problem-solving skills
Almost every well-known game imparts problem-solving skills. Like chess, strategy games require you to tackle challenges as they come. The more you advance through the levels, the more complex the challenges become. Once you become an expert player, your problem-solving skills will be top-notch.
It is important to note that not all games have the same problem-solving skills. Some leverage your inherent abilities, while others require you to solve problems using the skills you’ve gathered in the preceding levels. Despite the game’s approach, you will sleep better at night knowing you solved a problem or two and improved your cognitive abilities.
What Games Make You Smarter?
Strategy games such as chess, Dota 2, and League of Legends demonstrate an unparalleled correlation between high IQ and the games. Online pokies and other video versions of card games come in at a close second. Finally, you can play first-person shooter games to bolster your cognitive abilities. Avoid simple hack and slash games.
Some may argue that video games make you smarter or that being smart makes you better at video games, potato-potato. Online games improve spatial, selective, and memory retention skills, essential in solving mental problems.
Game-based learning is a new trend, and it produces top talents in the world. If you think games diminish your kid’s mental abilities, you are wrong. However, exercise caution and limit game time to reasonable hours.