Hair & Beauty Magazine

How Do Video Games Make Us Smarter? Scientific Approach

By Alyssa Martinez @ItsMariaAlyssa

Can I get a level up by playing video games? Unless to become more aggressive, skeptics will grin. But we have half a country of such skeptics, everyone has their own unique opinion, and no one listens to scientists. But they are just sure that games can impro several useful skills in life.

The experts from Pro-Papers understood which genres of video games are most promising for self-promotion. Not that there were games that would give you +10 intelligence or sex appeal. But something like that!

But doesn't hair grow on palms from video games? (Or is it not from games?)

Not from games. Of course, we are used to the fact that the impact of video games on a person is evaluated mainly in a negative way.

Moreover, this problem looks even more dramatic since children and adolescents are considered their main audience. By the way, and this widespread opinion is a myth.

In 2018, players 18 and under made up less than a third of the gaming community. Almost the same number of players in the USA belong to the age category 50+.

The harmful effects of games, too, is not so simple. Thanks to the people in white coats: they are not in vain eating their bread and from time to time find the positive aspects of video games. In particular, a developmental and educational effect.

However, the specific effect depends on the genre. According to some studies, some video games are "more useful" than others. In the sense that they develop more valuable skills in terms of their practical application.

Well, what to play then?

The question itself is "what would it be?" already appeals to the personality characteristics of the player. In 2012, a three-year study was conducted, during which scientists compared the genre preferences of 466 participants with their personality types according to a five-factor model: openness to new experience (intelligence), honesty, extraversion, goodwill, and neuroticism.

It turned out that open to new sensations - that is, according to the five-factor model, intelligent players preferred games with an element of research (adventure games and quests). Conscientious players preferred sports simulations and races, and extroverts preferred team or casual games.

In another study, scientists divided all the players into four groups, depending on the different learning styles that British psychologists Alan Mumford and Peter Hani identified. According to researchers, just belonging to one of the styles - the pragmatist, thinker, theorist, and figure - influence a person's choice of a genre, as well as what he can learn from his chosen game.

For example, "activists" (enthusiasts open to new experiences) are more likely to prefer action and RPGs.

"Thinkers" (they prefer to collect maximum information and analyze it) - adventure games and simulators. "Theorists" (prefer to systematize information into well-organized systems) - simulators and strategies. And "pragmatists" (they prefer to learn in practice and test theories with experience) - puzzles, "sandboxes" and detective stories.

Suppose you made a choice, the game began. What will she give you besides pleasure? Pro-Papers makes out three genres that researchers respond most flatteringly to.

1. Strategies

A strategy is one of the genres that can develop several important skills at once:

  • Logical thinking
  • Organizational skills
  • Time management
  • Decision-making speed
  • Stress resistance

In studies, RTS - Real-Time Strategy, when all players act simultaneously, and not, in turn, are cited as the most valuable tool for training cognitive skills. For example, Starcraft 2 (well, or just Starcraft for lovers of retro nostalgia).

Why is playing RTS so useful? The player has to operate with large flows of information in a short time, to prioritize and respond to unexpected circumstances.

As a result, to demonstrate a high level of play, a person has to use many skills that are necessary for real life.

For example, according to this study, adolescents and students who regularly played strategic games had better results in attentiveness tests than their peers - as did their reaction rate.

Moreover, the authors of the study noted: gamer students often excelled in their studies thanks to the hard lessons of exhausting electronic battles. Every time a little strategist in their head tells them: "First, gather information and analyze the situation, and then proceed to solve the problem." The strategist is not lying: it was not for nothing that he crushed thousands of angry, slimy enemies into the cabbage! As it turned out, his advice is useful in a university audience.

Oh, and don't forget about fine motor skills:

2. Roleplaying Games

While in the media, role-playing games (RPGs) have long been a scapegoat due to incidents of teenage suicides and addiction to games, among RPG scientists have established themselves as an excellent tool for self-development. And above all, because such games are usually multi-player. That means they mean constant interaction between the players. As a result, the "Larpers" uncover the following skills:

  • Sociability
  • Making good judgment and decision making
  • Organizational skills
  • Coordination with other people

Society has become accustomed to perceiving enthusiastic MMORPG (online multiplayer online RPG) people as socially unadapted "know-how". However, studies show that players demonstrate more developed communicative, organizational and leadership qualities. In general, games, where collective strategic tasks are to be addressed, have a positive effect on self-esteem and academic performance.

This American study, by the way, came to another curious conclusion. Among adolescents (12-17 years old), gamer boys more often used advanced strategic decisions during games, and gamer girls received higher scores at school.

All these skills are developed because players need to form a team, distribute roles, and then effectively interact with each other to complete tasks. Those players who do not own such skills are not able, for example, to go on a raid to kill the boss and split the loot:

A 2008 paper found a direct connection between a game in World of Warcraft and "systemic thinking." Scientists have found: players who spend a lot of time in the virtual world have a "scientific outlook on the world" and are perfectly adapted to society. 86% of the dialogs that the players in this online RPG lead, are aimed at creating useful "public knowledge" (that is, negotiating with players, coming up with useful game strategies and trading virtual goods) and not, say, bullying and swearing.

By the way, the players themselves in the polls most often indicated MMORPG as a genre that trains the maximum number of different skills.

3. Arcade

The genre of arcade video games includes a huge number of smaller genres. In general, following the classical definition, these are games with short sessions and intense gameplay. This includes a significant part of all mobile games, as well as mastodons of the genre like PacMan.

Due to the mass and popularity of such games, scientists often used them as an object for study. What, in their opinion, can the good old yellow circle devouring dots teach us?

  • Speed of thinking
  • Decision-making in the (very) shortest possible time
  • Spatial perception (the so-called spatial scanning)
  • Time management
  • Purposefulness

Studies show that even the simplest arcade games activate several important skills like short-term memory, logical thinking, and imagination. Focus groups of players who regularly played arcade games showed better results in tests where the mentioned skills should be applied.

A Spanish research team has published a paper on how video games develop so-called soft skills. "Soft skills" refers to those same "over-professional" skills for working in a team like emotional intelligence, discipline, empathy, ability to solve problems, and so on.

In a study of a test group of volunteers, scientists forced them to play Flappy Bird, PacMan, and Tetris, trying to understand how the game affects the development of flexible skills. As it turned out, the connection is direct. People playing games more soberly assessed the risks when they dealt with real problems - for example, making financial decisions.

Older people should pay attention to arcade games: Canadian scientists have proven that Super Mario 64 will help prevent retributive cognitive disorders.

But my grandmother says that learning is work, and games are some garbage!

As a summary and answer to skeptics who say that entertainment cannot be beneficial and any achievement is hard work, you can cite a quote from the work of the American writer and scientist Mark Prensky "Computer games and learning: Digital game-based learning":

"Is it possible to study while having fun? Some people think not. Alan Patrick Herbert (American writer) said: "People should not do something for fun. We are not here to have fun." Clifford Stoll (American astronomer and writer) said: "I may seem old-fashioned, but learning is hard work."

Professor Yale David Gelertner called education "the hardest work of our lives." In-game digital learning is not trying to argue with this.

Nobody says that learning can happen without putting energy and effort into the process. The difference in the word "work". If you are pleased to fulfill it, then it is not perceived as hard work.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog