Does Killing 10 Rats Make You Smarter?

Probably not. But there are other computer games out there which are specifically designed to make you smarter. However, a recent study throws a big lagspike at the claims of these games.

They compared spending half an hour playing some of the games with spending a half an hour surfing the internet and found no difference. Of course, the game manufacturers have their own studies that show that it does help. And at least on manufacturer’s games seem to help a little bit, according to a third party neuroscientist.

I learned a lot of geography and history from board games and wargames over the years, though the popular titles now don’t have so much of this content. But in terms of raw IQ, general intelligence, I think I have to agree. There’s no doubt that we get better at playing a game, but that doesn’t seem to translate from the game to the world. Or even to another game. Or else I’d have billions if ISK by now, instead of feeling like the perpetual noob in EVE that I do.

I really got a chuckle from this quote:

Other experts said brain games might be useful, but only if they weren’t fun.

“If you set the level for these games to a very high level where you don’t get the answers very often and it really annoys you, then it may be useful,” said Philip Adey, an emeritus professor of psychology and neuroscience at King’s College in London.

So I guess that leaves World of Warcraft right out then.

One thought on “Does Killing 10 Rats Make You Smarter?

  1. I'd add that difficult games only help if they teach you something. That means feedback. If they are just difficult and punishing without giving a reason for why they are, you're not going to learn much.*coughInvestigationsMathcough*

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