Videogames improve working memory


Following on from last week’s claim that Tetris increases brain efficiency, BBC News reports that war-simulation videogames can improve players’ ‘working memory’ – i.e. the ability to remember information and to use it. Dr Tracy Alloway, from the University of Stirling, suggests that studies have shown that videogames such as the Total War series enhance this element of intelligence, and similar effects are produced by completing Sudoku puzzles and, oddly, spending time on Facebook. Examples of activities likely to weaken working memory are text messaging, posting on Twitter and watching Youtube videos.

Gamers won’t be too surprised by the claim that playing the challenging Total War series can boost intelligence. Given that many videogames require resource-balancing and forward-planning, I wonder how less overtly strategic videogames would fare in Dr Alloway’s intelligence trials.

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One Response

  1. Nice to see the media is actually going pro-video games, seeing that it gave the industry a lot of trouble the past few years.

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