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Video games develop intelligence

Game enthusiasts are clear about it. Let's put it in writing for the record

Video games develop intelligence
1 March 2009

It is a subject that I have always been interested in analyzing in detail and now I would like to discuss it with you to see what your opinion is about it. I think that the fact that I have been "playing" with video games since I was 6 years old, has had very beneficial effects on the development of my intelligence (in some aspects):

Positive effects:

  • Ease of moving machines in three-dimensional spaces (e.g., driving vehicles.) How many spaceships, planes, cars, tanks, motorcycles, and countless other vehicles have we had to learn to steer in video games. Sometimes we not only have to steer the vehicle but also the driver's head movement. With that training, parking a car in the real world is a piece of cake, don't you think?

  • Geographic orientation. As I move around, my brain keeps a record of the decisions it makes and the positioning parameters each time it has to make a decision, so I can compare my current position to my initial one. In video games, it is very common to have to learn to move efficiently within a virtual scenario, which can sometimes be hundreds of square kilometers.

  • Efficient calculation of the physics of objects, their speed, gravity and trajectories. Surely, this is what is trained the most, since in video games we have to dodge projectiles and calculate the physics of objects almost all the time.

  • Logic of problem-solving. Inventive strategies and advanced graphic memory. Problem-solving in video games is what generates reward and satisfaction for the player. The challenges overcome help us to create a positive personality (no problem does not have a solution).

  • Multitasking, improvisation and speed to make critical decisions. Together with computer programming, video games significantly improve the ability to effectively prioritize the tasks or problems we face. This is of great help later in the real world...

  • Courage, adventurous spirit, competitiveness, perseverance, determination, and the pursuit of difficult challenges. Many video games promote very positive values that can help us in the real world.

Not-so-positive effects of new technologies and video games:

  • Psychological (not physical) addiction to challenges.
  • Addiction to the consumption of innovative audiovisual experiences, although not necessarily video games (travel, cinema, technology,...).
  • Internet and the ease of access to information make my brain much more selective to store information, which generates a loss of memory efficiency.

Therefore, my conclusion is that video games ARE beneficial for the development of certain aspects of intelligence, but their benefit is not unlimited and there comes a time when their consumption will only generate a creative stimulus (at least until there is a new technological revolution that involves new forms of reasoning and new tools for more accurate and faster control).

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