Another Study Finds Video Gamers Are Better Thinkers

from the think-about-that dept

I’m not much of a video gamer, but perhaps I should start. New researcher that (of course) Jack Thompson will find it convenient to ignore, has found that video games benefit the mind — slowing down the aging process, increasing the ability to multitask while helping users ignore distracting bits of info and concentrate on what’s important (which some people consider a key part of determining how smart you are). Of course, over the years, we’ve seen plenty of studies talking up the benefits of videos games — though some don’t seem to be all that scientific. Still with so many studies suggesting so many benefits to video gaming, it seems a bit premature for those against video games to so easily dismiss them.


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Comments on “Another Study Finds Video Gamers Are Better Thinkers”

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28 Comments
Jackal says:

No Subject Given

Why don’t studies target specific genres of video games instead of lumping together everything from button-mashing fighting games to text heavy medieval fantasy role playing games?

Do they mean playing a complex empire building simulation like ‘Sid Meier’s Civilization’ will make me smarter or should I begin training for a future in astrophysics with ‘WWF Raw Smackdown’?

Personally I belive that any game worth it’s salt, video or otherwise, will exercise reasoning ability but I haven’t seen any study measure it to my satisfaction.

Joe says:

Aging process

Yeah, I believe gaming does slow down the aging process. I am 27, but I can pass for 20 or even 18. Yes, that young.

I also believe that games do make you smarter, but you cannot limit yourself to one genre. I play every genre except sports (never really got into them), and I’m a pretty sharp guy, according to most people I know.

Jared Anderson says:

Re: Aging process

Hey look at me I dropped out of highschool when I was in 9th grade and traded it in for video games,well with missing highschool you may think I dont know much (which is mostly true lol) but I got my GED first try SO I must know something right?Thank you Videogames! YEA!

-Sponsored by the Anti-JackThompson-highschool-dropouts-getting-their-GED-first-try!

Anonymous Coward says:

Nerds?

Most people that play video games extensively are…well…slow developers anyway *cough* nerds.

Also, being nerds, they are smarter than other people anyway. So both the points don’t really have any merit until you actually delve into a study. But yes, certain video games do improve reasoning and problem solving. And yes, it is much better than watching tv.

IT GUY (user link) says:

Re: Nerds?

Well someone has their head stuck so far up their ass the only thing that comes out their mouth is ****.

I have been playing video games since I was 3. I am now 26, that is 23 years of gaming. If I were to completely shave all my facial hair I could pass for 19-20.

As for your statement about all gamers being nerds… When was the last time you met a gamer? I am not even close to being a nerd. In high school I was a straight C student, and am also a college drop out, BUT then again Bill Gates was a drop out as well.

I am the head of the IT department for my company. Funny thing is the way i got my job. I went to a friends house for a little Halo 2 network party. I was the one to set up the network and the host’s girlfriend saw how knowledgable I was and asked if I was looking for a job. 2 weeks later I started.

So not only did video games help my hand-eye-coordination and increase my ability to multitask, they got me my career.

Matt Sherwood says:

Video Games Promoting Intelligence

All,

CLEARLY THE BEST EXPLANATION COMES FROM:

Nerds?
by Anonymous Coward on Thursday, February 9th, 2006 @ 09:02PM…

video games attract intelligent/highly intelligent students..

(I’m surprised that no one else got this self-evident explanation that leaps to mind IMMEDIATELY!!!)

to show that video games CAUSED people to be more intelligent…god, do you realize what would entailed with control groups, and eliminating exogenous factors???
take care,

matt,

ps…

THE ALTERNATIVE IS NOT TV…it is READING!!! (great literature, etc..)

IMAGINE if gamers read great literature instead..

take care,

matt

Paul says:

Re: Re: Video Games Promoting Intelligence

Correlation does not mean cause and effect.
As stated, their study concludes that people who play videogames are smarter. This could mean that the video games made them smarter or it could mean that smart people were attracted to the videogames or something completely different.

Keith A. says:

Re: Re: Re: Video Games Promoting Intelligence

So do video games make people smarter or is it simply that smart people play video games??

The whole thing is just one big tangle of circular logic and can’t possibly be measured accurately.

Video games are cool and within reason can be entertaining and even fun, we should leave it at that and stop trying to justify wasting 4hrs. a day playing WoW!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Video Games Promoting Intelligence

Reading is a very slow way to transfer information, probably because it relies on only one sense and information is only sent in one direction. Challenging your mind with interactive problem solving and incorporating other senses in the process logically seems like a better way. Why do people insist on promoting archaic methods of learning?

Anonymous of Course says:

Re: Re: Re: reading

It’s all about language, which is the primary
means of conveying thoughts and ideas.

One of the greatest utilities of the
Internet so far is storage of and access
to the written word.

Also, book with some markers in it or (GASP!)
dog eared, is a better faster reference than
a CD containing a four hour interactive
multimedia extravaganza.

If you can read and comprehend all that other
crap just slows you down. (Insert the occasional
diagram as needed.) Remedial classes are in order.

hexjones says:

Re: Re: Re: Video Games Promoting Intelligence

“Reading is a very slow way to transfer information, probably because it relies on only one sense and information is only sent in one direction. Challenging your mind with interactive problem solving and incorporating other senses in the process logically seems like a better way. Why do people insist on promoting archaic methods of learning?”

Interactivity on most games is merely a matter of finding either the correct timing of buttons to push or the equivelent of finding what shaped peg to put in which shaped hole. It doesn’t matter which senses are involved (in games, sight is really invlved 99.9% of the time)

Try challenging your mind with a book that actually makes you think and explore the ideas in your own life.

Jeff says:

Re: Re: No Subject Given

Whats so different between reading and playing a Video Game.
1. They both are relaxing to most.
2. They both challenge your mind, however reading is even less interactive, less social compared to online games(MMORPG, 1v1, online combat (BF2) )… etc.
3. Reading is only 2 colors…whereas games are up to what 16 trillion colors.
Trust me I enjoy doing both, games and reading, but I read for reference not entertainment.
-J

Mike Lat says:

Re: Re: Re: No Subject Given

Games are not bad at all. You just need to limit your usage to a reasonable time span, and play with your friends and family sometimes too. Games are just like any sport, they can be fun and competitve in groups as well.

Jack Thompson is a moron. I’ve seen kids bond to be even closer friends because of gaming. If its the parents who don’t approve, they are responsible for their child, and I’ve never seen a kid “hide a game” from their parents.

Whenever you have a child, its best to keep the computer/console in a place where you can check up on your child anyway, and you should always be interested in what they are doing. The government should not regulate something like this.

Pesti (profile) says:

Video Games.......

My 32yr old son has been playing them for years,
And tho I’ve never doubted his intelligence, or that of most “gamers” … Sometimes I wonder when they
are going to figuer out that there really is more to life than the TV/moniter, blackbox/computer and that
lifelne/controller……I’ve said it a million times
(at least!) GIVE IT A REST!!!!!!
Pesti

autodidact says:

No Subject Given

There are so many variables here that aren’t close to being touched on. Every game has its own little mental exercise whether it’s the often mentioned hand eye coordination or the puzzle solving or even basic economics (got to love those damned auction houses.) And as far as appearing to look younger what about the amount of time video gamers spend out of the Sun compared to that of the average person. If I were to use myself as a case study I would have to say that gaming does go a long way towards improving hand eye coordination. When I was young a family member used to take me to shooting and sport clay ranges? I was horrible. I started playing shooting games like Quake and soon I became very adept at both. Which is probably why the military started using games to train soldiers in the mid 90?s. As far as the youthful appearance well, I have been sunburned pretty severely in the face a couple times and since I was 16 I?ve looked like I was 5 years older which has actually been pretty beneficial. Now that I have been in the IT field for about 8 years now I actually look my age even a bit younger as I have been told. All of this is extremely subjective.
MikeS

Elzeard (user link) says:

Too much to respond to . . .

But here’s a few that deserve it:
Matt Sherwood has it right – (complex) Games attrack Smart People as a passtime of choice.
Saying that Gameplay will make you smarter is putting the cart before the horse.
Similar could be argued about Violent Games. They are attractive to those who already have an impulse for violence against others.

Item B): Notice that those calling “Nerd” (in a derogatory way) have posted as “Anonymous Coward”. What is the Cause/Effect there? Do they not have an Email to supply, or are they too Stoopid to figger it out?

Point 3 — Reading: Always a Choice for the brainiacs. Reading is not Slow. Readers can be slow, but the smarter ones have learned to read ‘fast’, absorb thoroughly, and enjoy what they read.

play nice, now.

Aaron says:

I think that a lot of you aren’t taking into account the wide range of video game genres out there. “Interactivity on most games is merely a matter of finding either the correct timing of buttons to push or the equivelent of finding what shaped peg to put in which shaped hole. It doesn’t matter which senses are involved (in games, sight is really invlved 99.9% of the time)”. This statement assumes that all games are button mashers or that once you have figured out the basic premise of the game, all you do is repeat a task until you complete the game. This is not true, as my favorite type of games are RTS (Real Time Strategy). I am also a reader, but I find that these types of games are far more mentally stimulating than reading a book. You perform a wide variety of tasks in these games such as problem solving and multi-tasking. No two scenarios are ever the same, and in effect, you must figure out ways around each different encounter. Although I agree that some games require little more than a pulse and quick fingers to play, there are varying depths in different genres of games, and I feel that no one has really taken that into account.

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