Science has helped to prove that video games and intelligence are intrinsically linked.
Feelgood Friday: Even More Proof That Gaming Makes You Brainy
This week's good news is probably no surprise to our quickminded readers. But a recent study has revealed that playing video games at a young age is linked to higher intelligence. We spend a lot of time in our Feelgood Friday segment espousing the benefits of gaming. But it's always nice to have our suspicions backed up by actual science.
And we have researchers in Sweden to thank for this particular revelation, who studied how the screen habits of US children correlates with their intelligence over time. And lo and behold, it found an increase in intelligence in children who spent an above-average amount of time playing video games.
The study was conducted by researchers from the Karolinska Institute and Vrije University Amsterdam over the course of two years. It began by testing over 9,000 boys and girls on their general cognitive abilities through a series of psychological tests. Parents were also asked about how much time their children spent playing video games, watching TV or YouTube and using social media.
Two years later, a follow-up test was conducted on over 5,000 of the same children. This allowed researchers to assess how their performance differed, controlling for individual differences including genetic and educational background and income. The result: video games are a great mental workout.
The average child spent one hour per day playing video games. Those that played more than one hour of video games, however, increased their intelligence between the two measurements by approximately 2.5 IQ points more than average.
It's no surprise to us that video games and intelligence are intrinsically linked. From hand-eye coordination to constant puzzle and problem-solving, it's safe to say that most video games simply comprise a series of mechanics designed to get our mental cogs turning. Editor's Note: Plus monster-slaying, obviously*.
For MMOs in particular, it's often an exercise in working out the most efficient way to get dailies done with a healthy dose of mental arithmetic. It would sound tedious were it not for the wonderful worlds that our favorite devs build around the mechanics.
Feel free to use this study on video games and intelligence as evidence the next time you find yourself in a position to justify your gaming binge. But remember: intelligence is great and all, but don't neglect those activities that work on your mental and physical health.