Playing games may make children smarter

2 min read
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Clever

We’re constantly hearing about how video games are evil – how they’ll send children down a path that’ll lead to them becoming deranged sociopaths lacking empathy or social awareness. Games are evil, and if you’re a parent, letting them play these tools of the devil will ultimately end in catastrophe.

Only that may not be the case. A new study by  study by researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and colleagues at Paris Descartes University tested the effects of moderate video game playing on  3,195 children between the ages of 6 and . Those children were then assessed on their academic performance, video game usage and behaviour.

The study found that those who played games more had higher intellectual competence, and performed better at school.

“After adjusting for child age, gender, and number of children, the researchers found that high video game usage was associated with a 1.75 times the odds of high intellectual functioning and 1.88 times the odds of high overall school competence.”

Dispelling the myth of the social awkward gamer, the study reckons gaming is social by nature.

“Video game playing is often a collaborative leisure time activity for school-aged children,” Dr. Katherine Keyes, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, said via press release. “These results indicate that children who frequently play video games may be socially cohesive with peers and integrated into the school community.”

That said, don’t use this as an excuse to play games all day.

“We caution against over interpretation, however, as setting limits on screen usage remains and important component of parental responsibility as an overall strategy for student success,” Keyes said.

Of course, this is just the sort of thing that we gamers want to hear, serving as a bit of confirmation bias. We all like to think that playing games has had no ill effect on us, and we also like to think we’re just that little bit cleverer than everybody else.

Read  New research confirms that the smarter you are, the better you are at MOBAs

Last Updated: March 9, 2016

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    That explains why I just keep getting smarter – I constantly play games & I’ve never grown up.

    • Captain JJ the Isolated

      What’s Admiral’s excuse though?

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        He matured young?

        • Captain JJ the Isolated

          XD

      • Commander Admiral Chief

        And here I was going to leave you in charge in my absence, instead I have to start demotion paperwork.

        For shame JJ, for shame

        • Captain JJ the Isolated

          I keep forgetting that you don’t understand insult-based-admiration.
          See what I did there?

          • Admiral Chief [GITS]

            Potential deflection, ah, I don’t really care, GOING ON LEAVE NAO

          • Captain JJ the Isolated

            When, where?
            I promise not to show up unannounced.

            I’ll call when I’m ten meters away.

          • Admiral Chief [GITS]

            I can see your brows from 3km away

          • Captain JJ the Isolated

            Not when I’m standing behind the shrubbery!

      • Captain JJ the Isolated

        Come on. I’ve already played the “nice” part.
        Now you’re up!

        • Admiral Chief [GITS]

          Talking to yourself?

          • Captain JJ the Isolated

            Damn. Replied to myself and not Rince.
            (of course it wasn’t my one personality challenging the other)
            (shut up)

          • I was wondering about that 0_O

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            May as well talk to yourself instead of him. 😀

          • At least I am not piggybacking ON MYSELF 😛

          • Captain JJ the Isolated

            LOL

          • You watch it!

          • Captain JJ the Isolated

            “it” Trevor is a person!
            Kind of.

          • Captain JJ the Isolated

            Good god man. I’m struggling to sleep enough as it is.

          • HE’S BEHIND YOU!

          • Captain JJ the Isolated

            NO!
            Damn it.

          • I was kidding, NOW HE IS!

          • Captain JJ the Isolated

            Every time.

          • Not really, UNDER THE TABLE!

          • Captain JJ the Isolated

            :/
            *packs up to go home*

          • Not really…AT HOME UNDER YOUR BED AT NIGHT STANDING OVER YOU AS YOU SLEEP! WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Don’t give away all my secrets.

          • I didn’t mention anything about the attachable wings or plastic rhino horn 0_O

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Keep it that way.

          • Captain JJ the Isolated

            Is that what he told you it was?
            Interesting.

          • Captain JJ the Isolated
          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            I’M NOTHING LIKE YOU!

          • HONK HONK!

          • Captain JJ the Isolated

            lol

    • … No, too easy a target!

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        huehuehue – no go ahead. It won’t look lame or anything if you try piggybacking onto my own insult. ;P

        • I was going to say and you’re not even a real boy!

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            I’m a princess!

          • Captain JJ the Isolated

            Alien Emperor Princess Trevor.
            I like it.

          • With muscles like those, yes you are!

  • Ryanza

    Video games – hand and eye coordination, critical and logical way of thinking, and strategic thinking.

    That’s why games like Star Craft helps brain development.

    Now the evil side to video games comes in the form of the stories and visual imaginary plus sounds and music. Any of these forms used to promote agenda’s of evil, is what we need to watch out for.

    Don’t Support DRM.

    • Pariah

      Does the study also explain this guy over here ^?

      • Hammersteyn

        lol

  • Pariah

    So does the study explain why the “your mom” jokes amongst certain crowds keep getting more and more stupid?

    Also did they include console gamers in their study?

    • Commander Admiral Chief

      Not likely

  • The Sten

    So……what games did they play?

    Did they play mostly puzzle games or Call of Duty?

    • Captain JJ the Isolated

      I don’t think Call of Repetition would make anyone smarter.

      • The Sten

        Exactly

  • Commander Admiral Chief

    Play XCOM.

    It will make you plan, it will make you triumph, it will make you cry

    • Never name your Xcom soldiers after your family and friends. On the plus side now I don’t have to buy that much Birthday presents anymore.

      • Commander Admiral Chief

        HAH

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        I’d name them after Lazygamer & TheMovies writers. That way I can experience a mix of emotions when they die, not just sadness.

        • That type of dark humor is like food. Not everyone gets it

          • Commander Admiral Chief

            Hehehe

        • Ohhhh

          • Captain JJ the Isolated

            He’s going to shed many tears over you, I’m sure

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            It’s true. I’ll miss that easily replaceable decoy/meatshield.

    • Hammersteyn

      It will make you play something better
      https://media.giphy.com/media/13mET3HNHdmPny/giphy.gif

      • Pariah

        Realism is for noobs.

        • Hammersteyn

          That’s why I love DOOM!

      • Commander Admiral Chief

        You can see that is a rookie. Faced with a creepy alien, face to face, surely a rookie will have some fear

      • Mistake Not…

        “Ok, if I shoot him in the head he’ll probably die. But if he doesn’t, he’s gonna be very angry. I don’t want him to get angry.”
        “Miss!”

      • DragonSpirit009

        This is how I take on life’s problems… by missing them!

      • Captain JJ the Isolated

        He just does it for drama. They always do this move in the movies. 😀

    • Mistake Not…

      Just like real life. When the odds are in your favour you’re still gonna lose.

  • COD = Biology

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      We laughed at improvements to Fish & Dog AI, but now we find out that was beneficial for advancing Kid AI.

      • Pariah

        There’s a long list of things done to other kids’ moms that says otherwise.

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          I taught your mom a thing or two about Rabbit AI. huehuehue Wait, where’d that come from?!

          • Pariah

            I actually have no idea. None at all. Just like how much effort it takes to get your mom into bed.

    • Hammersteyn

      It is filled with references to the female of the species and their reproductive systems

  • BakedBagel

    Are you sure you want a generation of sexists?

    Kappa

  • PoisonedBelial

    Of course it duz.

    Gaemz have lerned me gooder than anyfing everz.

    That said, I’m sure it does improve hand/eye coordination as well as puzzlers helping to develop systematic thought patterns. Gaemz FTW! XD

    • Captain JJ the Isolated

      Spell checker has failed you!
      😀

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        Should’ve played Scribblenauts!

  • Pieter Kruger

    All in moderation, too much TV, Games, access to internet etc. is not good for children in their formative years I think. They need to run and play outside, read more and use those imaginations! All dragons for example will forever basically look the same as every child has seen one on tv, Google or in a game. Wonder what a child’s imagination could come up with if they only ever read or heard about them and then be asked to draw one? Would we be amazed? The modern day image of a dragon is someone’s idea that got copied and copied and is now widely accepted to be representative!

  • Descar

    Finally some scientific research to back up what I’ve always suspected. Strategy gamers usually outperformed their peers in classroom.

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