Action games expand the brain’s cognitive abilities

The human brain is malleable - it learns and adapts. Numerous research studies have focused on the impact of action video games on the brain by measuring cognitive abilities, such as perception, attention and reaction time. An international team of psychologists, led by the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, has assembled data from the last fifteen years to quantify how action video games impact cognition. The research has resulted in two meta-analyses, published in the journal Psychological Bulletin, which reveal a significant improvement in the cognitive abilities of gamers.

Psychologists have been studying the impact of video games on the brain ever since the late 80s, when Pacman and arcade games first took roots. The present study focuses on one specific video game genre, action video (war or shooter) games that have long been considered as mind-numbing. Do they influence the cognitive skills of players?


What about RPGs, so-called brain-games or good old classic strategy games like Chess or Go ? Where do they stand?
Action games imo keep you on your toes: quick reactions, spatial orientation, and a few real-time decision making skills. But when you gain speed, you usually sacrifice something else. Imo, that something else is depth. This is why there are different tournaments for blitz chess and classic chess, and often champions of one category find themselves unable to deliver in the other category.
My two cents.


You raise some interesting points. I would also raise the question of those with good cognitive ability that just don’t have the tools to be good at such action games. For example those of with poor reactions and slow processing speed.

Not sure . It says -

The psychologists proceeded to analyze intervention studies as part of the second meta-analysis. 2,883 people (men and women) who played for a maximum of one hour a week were first tested for their cognitive abilities and then randomly divided into two groups: one played action games (war or shooter games), the other played control games (SIMS, Puzzle, Tetris).

I’m not sure those control games would count as strategy games.

It goes on to say-

The results were beyond dispute: individuals playing action videos increased their cognition more than those playing the control games with the difference in cognitive abilities between these two training groups being of one-third of a standard deviation.

That doesn’t really tell us if the control games had a positive effect also albeit a lesser one.

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Andrey why do u want to improve ur cognitive symptoms…u said ur cognitive symptoms remain 100% okay right…

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When did I say I want to improve my cognitive symptoms? Yes, I am satisfied with my cognition.

I am not a gamer… I play occasionally with my friend, that’s all.

Oh, but I do develop simple mobile games, that’s another story :blush:


Best of luck for what u do Andrey…i am also hopeful for the future …!!!

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