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How Video Games Make You Smarter?

Updated on September 17, 2016

In such an assumption there is too much uncertainty related mainly to the very definition of "smarter." In order for such a real (or virtual) process of “getting smarter” to be registered and reported, there should be a precise definition of specific criteria.

That's why if you browse the Internet, you will find out that through the years many studies have been developed that link two completely opposite directions. A research at the Cambridge University conducted among 11,430 adults, showed that there are no statistics to support the claim that games have led to the development of new skills and improvement in cognitive skills.

According to researchers who conducted this test, practicing puzzle-based games and puzzles definitely helps participants in the experiment to become better at these specific game activities. At the same time, they have no impact on the skills to solve problems beyond those already exercised in the experiment.

At the same time, a research conducted in 2009 among 487 adults registered slight improvements in speed and sensory perceptions of participants after a period of sessions with different educational games.

So where exactly is the truth?

Usually in such cases, the truth hides somewhere in the middle, but not this time. Again, we return to the problem of quantity (and quality) measure of games impact on the player. An important distinction should be made here and this is the separation of the ability of cognitive function. Yes, on the one hand, gaming cannot make you God-knows-how-much-smarter than you already are (or are not). On the other hand, people always learn something new while playing.

Despite the seemingly conflicting studies on the issue, there are a number of scenarios in which activities with video games can be very useful for our intellectual development. Puzzle games can't make us more innovative, just like practicing different exercises in problem solving can't make us 100% ready to quickly and efficiently resolve any problem situation we will face in the future. However, they can make us more receptive, more flexible in the face of new challenges or situations where we have to absorb new skills and knowledge.

Games for many people are a huge motivation to deepen their knowledge in a foreign language, which otherwise they would have to learn on duty as part of a curriculum. Sometimes sceptics come out with the argument for "futility" of games – it also highlights the fact that games develop only a certain type of specific skills that have less practical value. That's not quite accurate since there are many different types of game titles. Depending on the type, nature and even the genre of the game, it can contribute in different ways to the development of a particular skill, but also to increasing overall knowledge.

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Positive effect on the Gamer's mind

Lastly, we should not forget that there are a number of psychological and therapeutic effects of practicing video games. If you play just for fun, gaming will let you take your mind off routineness. It can reduce the amount of stress and bring many positive emotions. Several scientific studies have proven the positive effect of video games on heavy psychological disorders such as PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). In general, these are the facts. Have they managed to convince you of the usefulness of games? Next time you see your kids sitting in front of the computer or console, a smart thing would be to join them and have some fun together in the enthralling world of entertainment.

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