Nolan Bushnell claims, “Several studies demonstrate an addition of ten IQ points for people who play games.” It’s okay to argue this and wonder if video games make anyone smarter. Reading this piece will answer all your questions and explain in detail how this happens.
Obviously, not all games are intellectually challenging. So, discover the games that explicitly answer the question,’ Do video games make you smarter?’
What are Video Games?
Call it an electronic game or a computer game, you are right. New World Encyclopedia defines a video game as a game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device.
According to Wikipedia, video games can be categorized according to their hardware platform. So, you would have arcade video games, console games, and computer (PC) games. Wondering which of these categories makes you smarter?
Here is a major difference between them:
- Arcade video games take player input from its controls, process it through electrical or computerized components, and display output to an electronic monitor or similar display. e.g., Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Missile Command.
- Console Games consist of images and often sounds generated by a video game console and displayed on a television. e.g., PlayStation and Nintendo Switch.
- Computer games are electronic games played on a personal computer (PC) and a video game. It encompasses LAN, online, mobile, and browser games.
What is the average IQ of gamers?
Studies posit that those who play games excel in fields more than those who do not. A more detailed study analyzed the IQ of gamers based on the type of game they play, and PC gamers are said to have the highest IQ of 112.3.
However, mobile gamers had the lowest at 99.4 IQ, which is still considerably high compared to nongamers. Game Rant claims that mobile gamers did poorly in Mathematical Ability, Logical Reasoning, and Visual Reasoning.
The study also reveals that Android users are great with Verbal Intelligence.
Below is a glimpse of the gamer’s IQ test and how players performed.
- PC – 112.3 2
- PlayStation – 110.7
- Xbox – 103.8
- Nintendo Switch Gamers – 101.3 IQ
- Average IQ – 100
- Mobile Phone Gamers – 99.4 IQ
Do Video Games Make You Smarter? What Research Says
If you still wonder if video games make anyone smarter, this section will analyze what the research says.
Before recent studies, video games were said to make people isolated and antisocial. Parents and guardians thought that it damaged their ward’s mental well-being.
They opined that violent games damaged gamers’ physical well-being. These and many more were accusations leveled against video games.
However, recent research from scientists reveals the opposite. Unlike the founded belief that playing video games is unproductive, studies suggest that video games could make one smarter.
Although there are notable arguments on the amount of time spent gaming and its effect on gamers, the transfer effect of some life-long skills learned while playing opines that gamers are actually more intelligent than nongamers.
#1. Karolinska Institutet in Sweden in 2020
While there is no convincing evidence yet to back up claims that video games make one smarter, promising findings posit that previous concerns are debilitating.
One such notable finding is the research at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden in 2020. Data from Over 9 000 American children aged 9 or 10 who played video games didn’t show any difference compared to those who played less.
Two years later, the study discovered that 5 000 of the children who played video games had 2.5 more IQ points than average.
#2. Alzheimer Research Foundation
Dr. D. P. Devanand, professor of psychiatry and neurology at Columbia University, opines, “This is the first study to document both short-term and longer-term benefits for home-based crossword puzzle training compared to another intervention” in a recent study.
The study published in NEJM Evidence enrolled 107 men and women with mild cognitive impairment aged 55 to 95.
Those assigned to do web-based crossword puzzles at home four days a week, for 30 minutes at each session, scored higher on memory tests than those who played cognitive games at the 12-week and the 78-week assessments.
What Video Games Make You Smarter?
Research proves that video games improve your IQ and make you smarter. However, you will agree that not all video games fit this description.
If your goal in joining the gaming world is to be smarter, you must pay attention to what video games you’re playing.
Most off shelve video games do not improve cognitive abilities. It would help if you make smart decisions.
- The Witness
- Clockwork Brain Training ‑ M…
- Kerbal Space Program
- Brain it On
- Portal Series
- Trine Series
- Call of Duty
Which Games are The Best for the Brain?
Games generally are good for brain development. Some games have been found to improve mental functioning and prevent brain aging.
According to verywellmind.com, research shows that brain-training games help improve attention levels, memory, response time, logic skills, and other measures of cognitive function if played over a long time span.
A small Columbia and Duke University study revealed that crossword puzzles have the edge over other brain boosters.
107 men and women between ages 55 to 95 with mild cognitive impairment were enrolled. After a memory assessment and MRI at 12 and 78 weeks, researchers found that those who did crossword puzzles scored higher on memory tests than those who played cognitive games.
Depending on what brain function you want to improve, this study suggests you must choose the right brain training game.
For instance, if you want to improve your IQ, a recent Game Rant study posits that PC gamers have the highest IQ at 112.3. So, playing some PC video games can improve your IQ over time. Below is a list of games best for the brain.
- Crossword Puzzles
- Brain Age Concentration Training
- Happy Neuron
- Vocabulary Builder
- Start a Jigsaw Puzzle
- Rubik’s Cube
Why do Video Games Make you Smarter?
If you play video games, you will realize the mental work that goes into winning a game. While you are juggling your brain nerves to find the best possible solution, you are acquiring life skills that make you smarter.
Wondering why video games make you smarter? Let’s x-ray the benefits of gaming to explore this assertion.
#1. Improves Cognitive Abilities
Indeed.com defines cognitive abilities as skills your brain uses to complete essential daily tasks like thinking, learning, reading, remembering, speaking, listening, and paying attention.
This mental capacity involves reasoning, problem-solving, planning, abstract thinking, complex idea comprehension, and learning from experience, according to Gottfredson.
Playing some video games improves this ability in humans. People with higher cognitive abilities tend to be smarter than others.
Visuospatial ability, a key component of Cognitive, allows you to recognize and remember objects and the relations between those objects. This unique ability is one of the numerous positive effects of gaming. Either as a student or professional, these life-long skills are super beneficial to you.
#2. Enhances Problem-Solving and Logic Skills
A 2015 study from Australian and Chinese researchers shows professional gamers had more grey matter and “heightened connectivity between certain subregions in the insular cortex,” according to gamequitters.com.
Would you want to improve your problem-solving and logic skills? Play video games that require planning, strategic thinking, and logic to win. If you do this over some time, you will become smarter.
#3. Multi Tasking Ability
Performing your daily tasks more efficiently is a lifelong skill you can imbibe from playing video games. Now, imagine completing many tasks at the same time. Superb right?
This one-way video game makes you smarter because most games force players to complete many tasks simultaneously. By performing several tasks, the fast-paced action and hyper-stimulation that modern games provide, gamers may improve their multi-tasking ability.
#4. It boosts Memory
A study reveals that playing video games improves the brain’s flexibility in updating and monitoring new information, thus enhancing memory capacity.
Most games require players to react and respond to fast-moving situations rapidly. Playing video games may improve your ability to perform tasks that require accuracy quicker and with higher accuracy.
#5. Video Games Promote Teamwork
Smart people are great team players. And you can pick this skill from playing video games that encourage teamwork.
Popular games like Fortress 2, Roblox, League of Legends, Dota 2, Counter-Strike, and Rocket League, encourage team play.
A Brigham Young University study reveals teams that played video games together for 45 minutes performed up to 20% better than teams involved in other team-building exercises.
Other ways playing video games makes one smarter include
- Better eyesight (attention to detail)
- Enhanced prosocial behaviors.
- Increased hand-to-eye coordination.
- Video games increase intelligence.
- More Physical Activity
- Better pattern recognition
- Strategic thinking
- Risk-taking abilities and management.
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Do Video Games Improve Memory?
Yes, playing video games may help improve memory. Recent findings posit that children who play video games for 3-4 hours a day have higher brain activity in regions of the brain associated with attention and memory than those who do not play.
This research states that children playing video games for three or more hours a day were faster and more accurate on cognitive tasks.
However, the same research also found that these kids showed more brain activity in frontal brain regions and less in vision-related regions. The frontal brain region is associated with more cognitively demanding tasks.
According to researchers, these patterns stem from practicing tasks related to impulse control and memory while playing video games.
How Many Hours of Video Games Are Healthy for Adults?
Experts recommend two hours of screen time for adults besides those of screen time. Playing video games for long hours at a stretch can harm your health. Excessive gaming can lead to poor sleep hygiene and other adverse physical health effects.
Despite the benefits of playing video games, playing for long hours a day may affect your health. 15 to 20 hours of playing video games each week are considered addiction which may require some therapy to break loose.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are kids who play video games smarter?
A study on brain function posits that kids who play video games have better memory and motor skills, amongst other things, than those who don’t
How do video games affect the brain?
Playing video games enhances visual perception, improves the ability to switch between tasks, and better information processing.
How many hours of video games is healthy?
American Academy of Pediatrics suggests not more than 60 minutes on school days and 2 hours on non-school days.
Why are gamers so smart?
Gamers are so smart because video games increase perceptual abilities, improve short-term memory, and help focus longer. It also sharpens the mind and boosts brain power.
Read Also: 13 Best Machine Learning tools for 2023
Kids learn by repeating a pattern over time. If you are a kinaesthetic learner, playing video games may benefit you.
Recent studies show that playing video games can make you smarter. While there is no convincing evidence, these promising findings can be of great help if you play by the rules.
Hope you find this article helpful