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Very seldomly is playing games associated with building intelligence. As a matter of fact, video games, more times than not, are the target of ridicule as people have speculated playing violent games lead to violence in children and playing for extended periods of time can diminish one’s eyesight. However, some studies have suggested that video games are quite beneficial for a person’s intelligence with IFL Science going so far as to say that these virtual experiences can improve perception, attention and cognition.
So we’ve taken it upon us to compile some video game genres and list the benefits that a player can receive from each. That way you can see what types of games work out which part of the brain in a more fleshed out way. With each genre, we’ll be supplying a few suggestions on specific titles to play so be sure to check them out and see if we’ve suggested anything from your personal collection. So, without further ado, here’s our list of video games that can improve your skills.
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Casino Games (Calculation)
Casino games, or more specifically gambling games based on probability like blackjack and poker, can improve calculation skills. Now, these aren’t the play for fun casino slot games you might be familiar with such as Super Sumo or Elementium but rather the card games that can typically be found alongside slot machine titles. For example, on Guts.com, you can find the “poker” section and “live casino” section on the upper banner. By playing these games, you’ll be calculating your odds of getting certain cards without even realizing, using odds to inform your in-game decisions. This is especially true for players looking to compete at higher levels and improve their play as it turns out luck can only get a person so far. So if you want to work on your math skills as well as become a casino pro, these might be the games for you.
Suggestions: Live Video Poker, Blackjack or Poker Night 2 by Telltale Games
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Shooters (Spatial Reasoning)
As one of the most popular genres, we don’t expect shooters to be foreign to many gamers at this point. However, for those of you who think playing the typical “dude bro” titles makes you a neanderthal might have to think again. Along with the obvious positive of increased hand-eye coordination, shooting games can also improve spatial reasoning as they reintroduce connectivity across different areas of the brain that might not otherwise operate with each other. Playing shooting games can also lead to heightened visual attention, a skill that is key in operations such as reading and driving. So, maybe that irate 12-year-old kid calling you all sorts of unspeakable names is actually a prodigy; you’ll just have to keep playing CoD with them to find out.
Suggestions: Halo, Call of Duty, Overwatch and Counter-Strike
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We’re pointing out all of the hot-button genres today, aren’t we? Fighting games have garnered a huge following these days and many can be seen on the big stage at prestigious tournaments but who knew getting to a professional level could teach you not only perseverance and enhanced reflexes but also strategy. That’s right, it’s not just strategy games. While playing fighting games against a computer might have you falling into certain winning strategies, when you take on human opponents, the variation in technique and play style makes your brain think in different ways in order to succeed. With whole websites dedicated to players discussing how to play against certain characters and playstyles, it’s no wonder people pick up valuable strategizing skills when playing in a competitive setting. It’s the only way to reliably improve.
Suggestions: Super Smash Bros., Tekken, Street Fighter and Marvel vs. Capcom
Although many games can be used to better yourself physically or mentally, these few examples seem to be overlooked. But, as with many things, immersion into many genres will lead to a more holistic understanding of games and help to build a multitude of skills. So get involved and take on as much as you can for the best results. Just remember to leave time for eating and sleeping!