How Video Games Make You Smarter

How Video Games Make You Smarter

Critics often accuse video games of making players lazy, inept and socially awkward. Contrary to popular belief, though, many build, not burn brain cells by requiring extensive problem solving, teamwork and dynamic decision-making skills.

Also capable of building players’ confidence and helping them see the world from multiple viewpoints, games can be powerful learning tools.

At minimum, they readily encourage fans to fall on their face then pick themselves up and try again, promoting hands-on learning without the fear of ridicule or embarrassment.

Following are four ways that video games can actually help make you smarter. The next time some cretin demands you drop the controller, consider citing all as you strike a wounded pose and educate the poor Neanderthal.

Hands-on experience

More interactive and absorbing than passive forms of entertainment like movies and TV, video games promote higher levels of engagement because observers are actively and enthusiastically involved with on-screen activity.

It’s a point author James Paul Gee emphasizes in “What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy,” which argues that digital diversions promote more substantive learning. As he once told UK newspaper The Guardian, “good video games … are complex designed systems that players have to learn to engage with reflectively and strategically.” Many children can pass biology and physics tests, he points out, but few can apply that knowledge to solve real-world problems.

Job training

Businesses and universities are increasingly turning to interactive simulations and virtual worlds as training tools to educate employees.

From Cisco to NASA, the U.S. Army to IBM, numerous corporations, government organizations and colleges have all employed interactive learning solutions.

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About Scott Steinberg
Scott Steinberg is CEO of strategic consulting and product testing firm TechSavvy Global, and a noted keynote speaker and business expert. Hailed as a top tech expert and parenting guru by critics from USA Today to NPR, he’s also an on-air analyst for ABC, CBS and CNN.

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