Video games develop intelligence

Proven positive effects

A study conducted in the United States goes against popular belief: We know that screens are often harmful to children. This is partly true, since they also develop intelligence: a correlation has been established between increased intelligence and regular practice of video games.

a study of 10,000 children has 8 to 10 years old

It is often said that screens are harmful to children. Yes, but they also develop intelligence. This is in line with previous research, which has shown screens to be a double-edged sword. Deciphered with Mathilde Fontez, editor-in-chief of Epsilon.
Franceinfo: Mathilde, how do we explain this established correlation between increased intelligence and the regular practice of video games? A study conducted in the United States has just demonstrated this. She followed nearly 10,000 children aged 8 to 10 for two years, measuring the evolution of their cognitive abilities according to the time spent playing video games. Yes, researchers have found that people who gamble tend to be smarter than people who don’t.

Quite the opposite of what we imagined…

In fact, a series of studies over the past decade have proven it: video games have no such negative effects, and sometimes even positive ones. The first thing that has been proven is that they definitely develop observation skills and reflexes. In 2006, two studies showed that playing video games can improve concentration and visual processing. Other tests have shown that they also develop learning, understanding and adaptability. A study even concluded in 2014 that they can improve working memory.

Researchers subject children who pass the test to vocabulary exercises, attention tests, written and oral comprehension exercises, memory exercises, and they show that children who play video games, even at high doses (a few hours a day) are more productive.

Does this only apply to games, not social media?

Only for games yes. The researchers also tested the use of social media and, unlike games, they found no association with intelligence. For example, declines in school grades were in no way correlated. The facts at issue are therefore different. So we are forming a smarter generation…
So far, psychologists are sure: they have linked these results to another measure: the slight increase in IQ scores observed since the late 1980s. They evoke coincidences. According to them, video games can explain this. They will play an informal education role.