While some studies put video games in a bad light, there are ones like this that actually encourage gaming. According to the study conducted by Dr. Silvia Bunge, a neuroscientist at UC Berkley, some video games help enhance kids' reasoning and processing skills. Findings even yielded that some games helped in raising kids' IQ points.
Dr. Bunge and her team went to an Oakland elementary school, where its history of low state test scores made them a suitable place to conduct the study. The kids' IQ averaged at 90, while their brain speed was measured to be at the 27th percentile. Background-wise, their parents were mostly high school dropouts. These are the kind of demographics that their objective seeks to address.
They selected games that required specific mental functions since they'd be giving a mental workout
, if you may, for exercising forethought, planning, comparisons, and logical integration. Among the games selected were Rush Hour
For the Nintendo DS, Picross
and Big Brain Academy
were put to the test.
They all had two 75-minute sessions every week, where kids were given enough time to play with all the games. After eight weeks, they ran some tests, and found that the kids' reasoning scores improved by 32% - in terms of IQ, that would be a sizable 13-point IQ gain. Typically, a year of school raises a child's IQ by 12 points on average - Bunge and her team were able to beat that with gaming sessions that total only 20 hours.
For more on the study, you can check it out at the Newsweek blog.