22 August 2023 How Video Games affect Intelligence

Intelligence. This is a word that I'm sure everyone has heard of. But what does it actually imply and how does it affect an individual? 

Researchers developed an IQ test to measure how well someone can use information and reasoning to answer questions or make predictions. IQ tests measure short-term and long-term memory and how quickly one can solve puzzles and recall information. It helps researchers check whether they are testing for the same “kind” of intelligence or different. In short, intelligence is the ability to derive knowledge, learn from experience, adapt to the environment, comprehend, and correctly apply cognition and reason in a psychological context. However, it does not encapsulate the complexity of the mind.

Folks often believe that video games rot a kid's mind, making them passive resulting in poor social skills, but a new study argues that the opposite could be true.

Children actually might get a 
brain boost from playing video games. Many people claim that video games make you smarter. However, intelligence is a broad concept, and we don’t know what effect video games have on it. Even then, lots of research have shown that video games can have a tangible impact on cognition,  particularly "action" video games and it improves cognitive performance in a wide range of ways (Green & Seitz, 2015).

Video games are commonly believed as a time-killing activity, but you will be amazed to realize that they have favorable advantages.
Do you know that video games can help you enhance your manual dexterity, increase your brain's grey matter, and strengthen your problem-solving skills? 

Video games can improve manual dexterity 
Manual dexterity or fine motor ability is the coordination of small muscles in movement with the eyes, hands, and fingers. The neurological system is linked to the various levels of manual dexterity that individuals possess. Fine motor abilities contribute to the development of intelligence and continue to develop throughout the stages of human development. In a study involving a group of surgeons, researchers found that those who played video games were faster at performing advanced procedures and made 37 percent fewer mistakes than those who didn’t (Dobnik, 2004). This proves that controller-based games can be great for your hands. Video games can boost and improve hand-eye coordination and reaction times.

Video games can increase your brain’s grey matter
Muscle control, memories, perception, and spatial navigation are all associated with gray matter. Gaming enables the brain to be more responsive when it comes to reporting new data. Gaming is primarily mental training that is disguised as entertainment. Smarter people are more likely to become addicted to video games because they may not be challenged enough at school or work, and video games fill that void. According to studies from Nature and Science Alert, playing video games on a daily basis may increase grey matter in the brain, and improves brain connectivity, which aids memory development. As a result, it improves players' memory capacity.

Games can teach you to be a better problem-solver and decision maker
Children who played strategy-based games improved their problem-solving skills and consequently tended to obtain better marks the next school year, according to a long-term study published in 2013, proving that gaming has an impact on intelligence. 

The majority of video games necessitate a significant amount of problem-solving. Various games, on the other hand, necessitate different types of problem-solving. Video games, particularly action games, necessitate immediate, on-the-fly decision-making. Gamers with a lot of experience can make quick judgments under pressure. Since video games boost critical thinking and reflective learning capacity, they also improve communication skills, resourcefulness, and flexibility. 

Not only do video games provide many benefits but they also give positive effects on attention, determination, and mental health.

Below are some examples of the positive effects of playing video games:

Effect of video games on attention
Green and Bavelier discovered that action video games improve attention control. Most action games demand that the player maintains a laser-like focus on specific elements or characters. As a result, action games significantly improve selective attention, or the ability to focus on a single stimulus. This appears to provide the greatest perceptual and attentional benefits.

Effects of video games on the determination 
It motivates you to be more persistent because, in video games, you either win or keep trying until you attain your objective, learning from your mistakes as you go. As a result, some researchers and academics say that video games could teach people to be more self-assured and to work toward their goals, treating each failure as an opportunity to learn.

Effect of video games on mental health
Some video games have been proven in studies to improve mood and heart rhythms, indicating that they may also effectively relieve stress. Numerous unrelated research has shown a link between video games and stress, which is why video games have been utilized in therapies for over a decade.

However, with the good comes the bad.

Although the benefits and positive effects of video games on the intellect have been covered, playing video games for long periods of time can also have negative consequences. Too much screen time can affect sleep, well-being, and academic performance. Therefore, gaming and other physical activities must be managed accordingly by parents. Gaming should always be done in moderation. 

Intelligence is a broad topic to be discussed. But in this write-up, we can come to an agreement that video games make you smarter in the aspects of cognition, memory, and problem-solving skill and how video games have positive effects on them. This is evident when gamers tend to rank higher for these cognitive abilities than the rest of the population.

To learn more about your child's potential and abilities, check out our Decode Talent DNA Test where you can unleash your child’s inborn potential! 

Anish Dube, MD, MPH, associate professor, psychiatry, Charles R. Drew University of
 Medicine and Science, Los Angeles; Karolinska Institute, news release, May 12, 2022; Damon Korb, MD, director, Center for Developing Minds, Los Gatos, Ca.; Scientific Reports, May 12, 2022

Crew, B. (2018, December 8). Gamers have more grey matter and better brain connectivity, research suggests. ScienceAlert. Retrieved July 26, 2022, from https://www.sciencealert.com/gamers-have-more-grey-matter-and-better-brain-connectivity-st    udy-suggests-2018

Dobnik, V. (2004, April 7). Surgeons may err less by playing video games. NBCNews. Retrieved June 17, 2022, from https://www.nbcnews.com/id/wbna4685909 

Editor. (2022, February 1). Benefits of video games for Kids & Adults. GEICO Living. Retrieved June 21, 2022, from https://www.geico.com/living/home/technology/9-reasons-to-give-video-games-a-try/ 

Green, C. S., & Bavelier, D. (2012). Learning, attentional control, and action video games. Current biology: CB, 22(6), R197–R206. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2012.02.012

Green, C. S., & Seitz, A. R. (2015). The Impacts of Video Games on Cognition (and How the Government Can Guide the Industry). Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 2(1), 101–110. https://doi.org/10.1177/2372732215601121

Kabir, L. (n.d.). Video games make you smarter: Backed up by research. Healthy Gamer. Retrieved June 21, 2022, from https://www.healthygamer.gg/blog/video-games-make-you-smarter-backed-up-by-research#:~:text=Video%20games%20increase%20your%20attention,cognitive%20abilities%20that%20society%20values. 

Kühn, S., Gleich, T., Lorenz, R. et al. Playing Super Mario induces structural brain plasticity: gray matter changes resulting from training with a commercial video game. Mol Psychiatry 19, 265–271 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1038/mp.2013.120

Thompson, D. (2022, May 19). Could video games boost A child's intelligence? WebMD. Retrieved June 21, 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/children/news/20220519/could-video-games-boost-a-childs-intelligence