Good at Video Games? It Means You’re Smart, Study Says

Good at Video Games a Sign of Intelligence
Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
 

Video games are bad because they promote violence. You shouldn’t play video games because that way you’re just wasting your time and don’t, actually, learn anything. Both teens and adults who play video games are just lazy and nothing else.

How many times have you heard someone say these things? Or maybe you’ve come across these “recommendations” online? While video games have gotten a bad reputation, primarily due to the fact the most famous ones are about wars, shootings, and stuff, they aren’t as bad as people think. In fact, being good at video games could be a sign of intelligence, according to the latest study.

Video Games and Intelligence

Millions of people from all age groups play intellectually-demanding video games on a daily basis. Today, multiplayer games are very popular as they allow people to engage with others, play in teams, and accomplish a certain “mission” while having more fun.

Influence of individual performance on a player’s cognition is largely unknown, which is why a team of researchers at the University of York carried out a study consisting of two important experiments.

Scientists recruited 51 male participants with mean age 20.5 years via adverts displayed on multiple sites within the UK and the Universities of Leeds, Essex, and York. All participants were experienced League of Legends (LoL) players who had played at least 100 of both ranked and unranked matches.

As mentioned above, two experiments were conducted. In the first experiment, they examined a group of participants who were highly experienced in LoL, one of the most popular strategic video games around the globe. During the experiment, scientists monitored a correlation between performance in the game and in standard intelligence tests.

For the purpose of the second experiment, scientists analyzed datasets from four games:

  • Two MOBAs: LoL and Ancients 2 (DOTA 2)
  • Two “first-person shooters”: Destiny and Battlefield 3
Results of these experiments were published in the journal PLoS One [1] and they showed a strong correlation between performance at video games and intelligence. For example, those who did better in LoL during the first experiment also scored higher in a fluid intelligence test.

At the same time, the second experiment showed that performance in MOBAs and IQ behave in similar ways as players get older. The effect wasn’t recorded among first-person shooter players where performance deteriorated after their teen years.

IQ Test

Video Games Have Similar Impact On IQ As Chess

Scientists explained the relationship between a player’s ability in action video games and high IQ is similar to the link between chess and intelligence. This is a major discovery that shows video games aren’t an evil as they are depicted to be.

They can help players improve* their intelligence in a number ways including the improvement of their problem-solving skills, memory, and other parameters.

Games like League of Legends are complex, require interaction between players, and they are intellectually demanding. As a result, performance in these games can be a measure of intelligence, according to one of the authors of this study Professor Alex Wade.

Numerous studies have confirmed[2] a relationship between performances in traditional strategy games to high IQ, but the latest research showed that modern strategy games that millions of people play can have a similar effect. Being good at these games can be a sign of great intellect. This could be down to the fact that multiplayer games rely on memory and the ability to make strategic decisions.

Read More: Does Online Brain Training Games Work?

Conclusion

A group of researchers at the University of York discovered that performance in strategic multiplayer games like League of Legends is strongly linked with high IQ. Reasons for this are numerous including the fact players have to interact with one another, make fast and logical decisions in short timeframe, and they rely on memory.

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Author

Expert Author : Dr. Ahmed Zayed (Consumer Health Digest)

Dr. Ahmed Zayed Helmy holds a baccalaureate of Medicine and Surgery. He has completed his degree in 2011 at the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Dr. Ahmed believes in providing knowledgeable information to readers. Other than his passion for writing, currently he is working as a Plastic surgeon and is doing his masters at Ain shams University.