A new excuse to game. Smarten up with StarCraft: Video games may boost cognitive flexibility—a vital component to learning, according to a new Briti...
Smarten up with StarCraft: Video games may boost cognitive flexibility—a vital component to learning, according to a new British study.
People who played real-time strategy (RTS) games like StarCraft—where you switch rapidly between multiple scenarios—for 40 hours over a 7-week period scored significantly higher on cognitive tests than those who played The Sims 2, a life-simulator game.
Previous research has shown the positive mental effects of puzzle games like Bejeweled and first-person shooters like Halo. But this study focused on games that activate a more advanced branch of cognition, forcing you to consider several interconnected tasks in a changing environment, says lead researcher Brian Glass, PhD.
You don’t have to be a StarCraft whiz to see brain benefits, though. In fact, the study excluded people who play video games more than 2 hours a week. Play RTS games like Age of Empires or Command and Conquer in moderation and you’ll likely reap more perks than people who oversaturate with hours of button clicking.
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