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Navy says gamers have improved fluid intelligence

  1. Jan 27, 2010 #1

    Pythagorean

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    Navy says gamers have improved "fluid intelligence"

    http://kotaku.com/5457590/us-navy-video-games-improve-brains-fluid-intelligence

    "We have discovered that video game players perform 10 to 20 percent higher in terms of perceptual and cognitive ability than normal people that are non-game players,"

    This makes sense to me. I'll use Halo as an example since it's a popular first person shooter. (However, games like Call of Duty require more strategy and keeping your head down like in a real battle.)

    In the canonical example, you have grenades in one hand and your smg in the other hand. The smg can't shoot around corners, but your frag grenade can. So if an enemy (another human... playing against comptuers is too easy) is hiding behind cover, you toss a frag grenade his way and he runs out, then you can shoot him (or her) down with your msg.

    Another tactic is to run around a corner, shooting with your smg, then stop and pull out your shotgun. When they come around the corner, BOOM!

    These all seem fairly obvious (but even in physics, isn't the solution always obvious after you've seen it?) but what's impressive is that we don't think up these tactics before hand. It's only looking back that I can see these tactics I've come up in a fluid way (thus, fluid intelligence) in the heat of battle.

    But you can apply this kind of thinking outside of battle. It's a matter of recognizing your situation, and knowing how your can apply your inventory to resolving the situation, even if the contents of your inventory weren't designed with your application in mind. But it's also a matter of knowing human nature so that you can bait people into thinking you're vulnerable and also knowing when you should run away and regroup because you're vulnerable. Sun Tsu would approve.
     
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  3. Jan 27, 2010 #2
    Re: Navy says gamers have improved "fluid intelligence"

    Aren't you just trying to justify playing games?

    Edit: I'm sure playing more soccer would have the same effect. And it gives you a workout.
     
  4. Jan 27, 2010 #3
    Re: Navy says gamers have improved "fluid intelligence"

    It has been a common thought that video games "rot your brain". I believe this is showing that to be false.

    I have met many types of people that play video games. Why can one not play soccer and video games? A supervisor from an old job of mine had a black belt in Karate, was a part time instructor at the dojo next door, and he loved his video games. I've even been acquainted with a few ladies online that are health nuts and love video games. One in particular says she is an addict and owns nearly every console that has been made. She is also rather fit and slender and practices yoga, martial arts, and parkour.

    Perhaps the point to take from this article is really that your preconceived notions about the people who play video games may well be very wrong.
     
  5. Jan 27, 2010 #4

    ideasrule

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    Re: Navy says gamers have improved "fluid intelligence"

    I remember one experiment, mentioned on Daily Planet, that determined the number of dots subjects could "count" without actively counting. (For example, if I show somebody 4 dots and ask how many dots there are, he'll say "4" without having to count.) Non-gamers could manage 5 dots on average, while gamers could manage 7.
     
  6. Jan 27, 2010 #5

    Math Is Hard

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    Re: Navy says gamers have improved "fluid intelligence"

    Interesting. That's called "subitizing". I didn't know there was a way to improve that ability, but it makes sense that practice in tracking lots of things on screen simultaneously might be beneficial.
     
  7. Jan 28, 2010 #6
    Re: Navy says gamers have improved "fluid intelligence"

    must be true. from what i've seen, kids these days have no trouble at all listening to a stats lecture while also browsing facebook or playing WoW on their laptops. it's really quite impressive.
     
  8. Jan 28, 2010 #7

    Chronos

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    Re: Navy says gamers have improved "fluid intelligence"

    Practice makes perfect. What is amazing about gamers superior performance vs non gamers? The us military has been exploiting this resource since the 80's. As simulations better approximate reality, real world performance by trainees will become more effective.
     
  9. Jan 28, 2010 #8

    Pythagorean

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    Why would I need to justify playing video games? Is there a taboo I'm not aware of?
     
  10. Jan 28, 2010 #9
    Re: Navy says gamers have improved "fluid intelligence"

    "Gamers" are people who spend lots of time playing games, not just casually. The cons for that outweigh the pros. I don't care how well I do on one of those ultimately meaningless tests, I wish I never spent so much time playing video games.
     
  11. Jan 28, 2010 #10

    f95toli

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    Re: Navy says gamers have improved "fluid intelligence"

    It obviously depends on WHICH game you are playing.

    However, anyone who has ever played against some "serious" gamers in a first-person shooter can tell you that some of these guys have EXTREMELY good reflexes and what I guess one could call "spatial awareness".
    Really good professional gamers (e.g. Fatali1ty) probably have reflexes that are as good as those of professional athletes (e.g. fencing), but of course they also practice just as much (if not more) so that is hardly surprising.

    It would be interesting to know how well people who play other types of games do, are e.g. professional Starcraft players better than your average person in situations that require "tactical thinking" and forward planning?
     
  12. Jan 28, 2010 #11
    Re: Navy says gamers have improved "fluid intelligence"

    I've played Starcraft since the late 90's and got really good. I can say that the combat strategies you learn in SC could apply to real life battles.

    Some strategies you think would be intuitive, but evidently aren't. Like you would think people would realize that sending your troops to attack in a straight line towards the enemy is bad, but almost every beginning Starcraft (or any RTS) player does that.
     
  13. Jan 28, 2010 #12
    Re: Navy says gamers have improved "fluid intelligence"

    I just love the image they pick for the article: Brain jello.
    How appropriate.

    http://cache.gawker.com/assets/images/9/2010/01/500x_jellobrain.jpg [Broken]http://www.ovcart.com/images/inventory/13402.4020.zoom.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  14. Jan 29, 2010 #13

    Pythagorean

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    Is that your definition of gamer or the Navy's? I suspect you're bias from your experience.
     
  15. Jan 29, 2010 #14
    Re: Navy says gamers have improved "fluid intelligence"

    It's my definition, but I don't see how anyone elses definition could be different. Everyone has played games, so what distinction could "gamer" be, other than someone who plays games a lot?
    I play games a lot. I'd consider myself a gamer, so I don't know what bias I could have, since my opinion is that being a "gamer" isn't very advantageous.
     
  16. Jan 29, 2010 #15
    Re: Navy says gamers have improved "fluid intelligence"

    I agree. Games like SC and Counter Strike or DoD or CoD, I consider them all video adaptations of game like stones, or risk, or chess, and games like that have been proven to be good for the brain for a long time now. You can apply strategies or similar thought processes that you use in games like chess or risk in the real world, or even in the aforementioned games.
     
  17. Jan 30, 2010 #16
    Re: Navy says gamers have improved "fluid intelligence"

    The trait I've most noticed developed in myself from playing RTS games is 'teamwork' and predicting short term outcomes.

    I'm more easily able to tell when something isn't likely to succeed, what may be coming next and if my 'teammate' is in trouble.
     
  18. Jan 30, 2010 #17

    Pythagorean

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    Well, you've exluded your judgment in this post that the 'cons outweigh the pros' which is what I was reffering to as your bias.

    This would be classified as addiction, which I don't equate with 'gamer', though they aren't mutually exlusive of course.

    I'm not addicted to gaming, but I'm a gamer. You seem to be saying you're addicted so every other gamer must be.
     
  19. Jan 30, 2010 #18
    Re: Navy says gamers have improved "fluid intelligence"

    I excluded it because you didn't ask about that, you asked about my definition of gamer. I still stand by it, though.
    No, you're saying that, not me. I was never addicted to games. I played them when I could have been doing more constructive things, but I didn't have to play them. I wish I had used those hours to learn a skill or spend more time on academics. The pros are scoring slightly better on perceptual and cognitive tests, the cons are not using that time to do things that can actually make you successful.
    So playing video games makes you better at playing video games, basically. I don't see why that's so amazing to you.
     
  20. Jan 30, 2010 #19
    Re: Navy says gamers have improved "fluid intelligence"

    If you call maths and physics "video games", then yes. Also you couldn't have used those hours to study instead, you obviously lacked the motivation and then the choice was between some more relaxing activities. The question is not "Would I rather that I had studied than playing games?", instead something like: "Would I rather that I had watched TV soaps instead of playing games?".

    Basically you have a chronological bias, the things that were fun then do not give you anything now so you think that they were useless. Using the same logic you shouldn't have gone on any trips, cinemas and such since then you would have a lot more money now!
     
  21. Jan 30, 2010 #20
    Re: Navy says gamers have improved "fluid intelligence"

    Right... So playing video-games ONLY makes you better at playing video-games... That's DEFINITELY what I got out of that.... [/sarcasm]
     
  22. Jan 30, 2010 #21

    Dembadon

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    Re: Navy says gamers have improved "fluid intelligence"


    From http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Gamer" [Broken]:
    Obviously, "regularly" and "a lot" are relative terms. "A lot" for someone with a busy schedule would mean something completely different when compared to someone who does not have any responsibilities.

    I think most would agree that the term "gamer" holds negative connotations, which is unfortunate and misplaced.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  23. Jan 30, 2010 #22
    Re: Navy says gamers have improved "fluid intelligence"

    Another interesting potential benefit of video games: http://medgadget.com/archives/2009/03/action_video_games_improve_visual_contrast_quality.html

    I wonder if the people who did this study have actually played CoD and Halo. Visual contrast is much more important in CoD in my experience. When I switched to CoD 3 from Halo 3, it took me a long time to get used to picking out targets. It also took me a while to realize that if you sit still, people have a really hard time seeing you compared to when you're walking.
     
  24. Jan 30, 2010 #23
    Re: Navy says gamers have improved "fluid intelligence"

    Video games make you better at math and physics? If that were true, I'd be amazing at math and physics, which I'm not.
    So it would have broken the laws of physics for me to have studied instead of played video games?
    I COULD have, but I never said I WOULD have. I said I WISHED I had.
    That's not entirely true. The game I spent the most time on was Starcraft. I still find that fun and I still play it. Just not nearly as much as I used to. I still find it fun. It was fun then and it's fun now, but just because I had fun, doesn't mean it was worthwhile playing it as much as I did.
    It's like eating donuts. I think eating donuts tastes good. If I was fat and I said I wished I never ate those donuts, doesn't that make sense? Sure, they tasted good and they still taste good, but I wished I never ate so many.
    I wouldn't even say playing video games makes you good at video games. Playing a lot of FPS games won't make you good at RTS games.

    Maybe people prone to becoming "gamers" are more likely to have that kind of intelligence regardless of the games. Is that possibility being ignored?
    I don't think it's negative. When I hear "he's a gamer" in my head, it sounds to me that the person is saying they're good at games, not necessarily that they're a dork who spends all day playing them.
     
  25. Jan 30, 2010 #24
    Re: Navy says gamers have improved "fluid intelligence"

    I whole-heartedly disagree. For games like CoD and Counter Strike, unless you just have a bunch of nubs who run off on their own, generally you work together as a team and create real-time strategies as you go, or use strategies that have been proven to work in the past from experience to complete your objective, whether it's capture the flag/protect your flag, planting a bomb/defending a bomb site, or capturing/defending hostages. You need strategies and teamwork to do it, along with the quick decision making and reflexes. You also need the ability to predict with some degree of accuracy where people are, where they're going to be, and where they might be coming from. So if you do scrims in counter-strike or CoD for example and you're good at it from experience, then the strategy making you've developed from playing those will transfer very well to RTS games like StarCraft.
     
  26. Jan 30, 2010 #25
    Re: Navy says gamers have improved "fluid intelligence"

    That is a strawman if I ever saw one. If you perform 10-20% better due to playing video games then it is an improvement, but it wouldn't make you amazing at it if you weren't already from the start.
     
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