The Brain Games How Videos Games Can Make You Smart

The Brain Games How Videos Games Can Make You Smart

The Brain Games: How Videos Games Can Make You Smart
Video games have been getting a​ bad rap .​
Sure,​ a​ few involve nothing more than pointing several deadly weapons at​ the​ Undead and blasting them into a​ bajillion pieces .​
And there are cases of​ people wasting otherwise productive hours conquering a​ virtual kingdom and accumulating pixelized gold instead of​ going out and getting a​ real job.
But there are many,​ many times when video games actually provide a​ noble purpose in​ society .​
When they make you a​ better person .​
Or at​ least,​ a​ smarter person.
Because there are video games that are actually built on​ logic and reasoning,​ and involve complex problem solving that you can take with you even after you’ve walked away from the​ computer screen.
Take Tetris .​
Okay,​ so it’s a​ couple of​ colored blocks set against a​ metallic,​ monotonous sound track – but it​ takes some degree of​ analysis and quick thinking to​ assess the​ shape of​ the​ pieces dropping from the​ top of​ the​ screen and deciding where to​ put it .​
Factor in​ that the​ game speeds up periodically,​ and the​ pile of​ blocks grows with every mistake you make,​ until you reach a​ point when one wrong move can kill your chances of​ breaking the​ world record—and your brain starts working pretty fast .​
Faster,​ in​ fact,​ than you would normally use it​ in​ the​ course of​ the​ day; admit it,​ most of​ the​ stuff you do at​ the​ office is​ pretty mind numbing,​ anyway .​
Between sharpening pencils and performing lightning-fast spatial analysis exercises,​ Tetris looks like it’s actually good for you.
And then there are the​ memory games .​
Ever spent 20 minutes looking for your keys? Or stood at​ the​ center of​ the​ parking lot,​ trying to​ remember if​ you parked on​ the​ same floor? Well,​ memory games can work that brain muscle so you don’t forget the​ important stuff (and yes,​ that includes your wedding anniversary) .​
Studies show that memory isn’t really a​ function of​ IQ; it’s a​ skill: the​ ability to​ organize information in​ your brain,​ and then retrieve it​ through a​ series of​ memory-triggers .​
Not all of​ this is​ conscious (although you can take active steps to​ improve memory by researching on​ what methods you can use) .​
But like all skills,​ it​ improves with use .​
Hence,​ memory games .​
The best part about memory games is​ that they’re actually fun (as opposed to​ simply memorizing a​ list of​ the​ capitals of​ each state,​ or​ the​ periodic table of​ elements) and even relaxing .​
Yes,​ relaxing .​
You’re doing something you love and getting smarter at​ the​ same time .​
Not a​ bad way to​ spend a​ 20 minute break between meetings.
And then there are the​ strategy games .​
Conquering the​ world,​ running a​ city,​ shaping an​ empire from a​ handful of​ barbarian villages to​ being the​ first country to​ set up a​ space station on​ Mars—obviously,​ these aren’t just random point and shoot games .​
They’re about the​ same skills you learn in​ business school,​ but with cooler graphics: how to​ manage resources,​ motivate people,​ and set goals.
So yes,​ video games can make you smart .​
Tell that to​ Mom next time she tells you to​ hit the​ books.

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