“Them games’ll rot your brain, you know,” said the fictional
midwestern mom that we’ve invented for the purposes of this story.
Grudgingly, we’d accept her admonishment, put down our copy of Sonic the Hedgehog and go back to playing “educational” titles like Oregon Trail and Carmen Sandiego. Now, however, it turns out that a game like Portal 2 is better for your brain than an actual brain-training game like Lumosity.
A team down at Florida State University sat 77
undergraduates in front of the games for eight hours, with their
problem solving, spatial skill and persistence tested before and
afterward. The results showed that the Portal 2 players showed “significant increases” in their scores once they’d spent time with Wheatley and GLaDOS while the Lumosity
gang, er, didn’t. It’s only one study with a limited sample set, for
sure, but maybe the next time that fictional midwestern mom starts
moaning about your rotting brain, you can hand her the report and tell
her to shove it.
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