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New Study Claims Being Good at Video Games is a Sign of Intelligence

“Games such as League of Legends and DotA 2 are complex, socially-interactive, and intellectually demanding,” a researcher pointed out.


In the past, video games were viewed as a roadblock to a kid’s future. Many believed that this form of recreation is a huge waste of time and does not reinforce a kid’s ability to learn. Well actually, it is quite the opposite.

A study, which was carried out by the University of York, UK, claims to have found the link between intelligence and video games. However, it is important to understand that this does not instantly mean playing games makes one smarter. Still, there is a lot of interesting facts involved.

It appears that playing certain video games can be a sign of intelligence.

Source: Pixabay

Basically, the study is composed of two parts. The first one involved 56 participants. From there, the researchers compared various psychometric test scores from the subjects with their respective performance in the MOBA game League of Legends.

In this study, they obtained a correlation between how the participants performed in standard paper-and-pencil intelligence tests and how they performed in the game. The correlation was said to be similar to that of a chess game.

As for the second part of the study, the researchers utilized existing data from thousands of participants across a number of video games. Their goal was to see how performance could possibly change with age. Apart from League of Legends, it included Defense of the Ancient (DotA 2), Battlefield 3, and Destiny, with the last two being first-person shooter titles.

The researchers pointed out that playing games does not automatically make one smarter.

Source: iQ By Intel

Results from the second part showed that performance in the aforementioned strategy games matches the changes seen in IQ as the players got older. However, as far as the first-person shooter games were concerned, the performance significantly declined after the teenage years.

The co-author of the study named Professor Alex Wade said:

Games such as League of Legends and DotA 2 are complex, socially-interactive, and intellectually demanding. Our research would suggest that your performance in these games can be a measure of intelligence.”

The possible reason here is that strategy games heavily focused more on memory as well as the player’s ability to make strategic decisions in a quick manner. In first-person shooter games, however, players mostly rely only on accuracy and speed.

Again, this does not entirely mean that when you play video games, you are already smart. Instead, if you are good at certain video games, it could possibly be a sign of intelligence. But in terms of the exact correlation of this idea, the researchers have yet to determine it.

League of Legends was among the video games the researchers used in the study.

The researchers wrote:

Although our data indicate a link between intelligence and video game performance, the relationship is correlational and so the causality is unclear.”

But all is well still. This only means that strategic MOBA games can be used as a way to measure cognitive function. This data available on the players could help the researchers study various cognitive patterns – and this is on a huge scale. Eventually, this will offer new insights into how a decline in intelligence and memory link to a couple of age-related diseases.


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