Starcraft is an exciting video game that has absorbed a wide fan base from all around the world. While you might be playing it for its strong entertainment value, did you know that playing Starcraft can actually boost your brainpower? Read on to be fully enlightened about the cognitive benefits of playing Starcraft.
Starcraft in a Nutshell
Known around the world as one of the best PC strategy games, Starcraft is a military science fiction game that has captured the imagination of many. While the first version of the game was launched in 1998, the ‘stardom’ of Starcraft has not waned ever since. In fact, reviewers and players have nothing but high respects for this game, earning impressive rankings in Computer Gaming World (5/5) and GameSpot (9.1/10) respectively.
Starcraft: Good for the Brain
For the longest time, the elders have been against Starcraft and other video games because they are addictive. For most, e-gaming is said to dull the mind. Fortunately, a study concerning the game has managed to disprove the many bad impressions. The said study is “Real-Time Strategy Game Training: Emergence of a Cognitive Flexibility Trait”, published in the journal PLOS ONE just this August 2013. Helmed by experts from the United Kingdom and the United States, the research showed that complex video games such as Starcraft actually improves the brain’s multitasking skills, not to mention its agility and sprightliness. Its participants– which are surprising to most – are non-gaming female undergraduate students from the University of Austin at Texas.
So how does Starcraft and other strategy video games train the brain? According to the authors Glass, Love and Maddox, such games promote cognitive flexibility since they force the user to shuffle between contexts whilst maintaining the information for both. The term “cognitive flexibility” is widely used in the study – and the authors define this as the capacity to channel your brain’s resources efficiently under varying circumstances. Such talent is connected with overall well-being, as well as fluid intelligence.
What Players Have to Say
The study’s positive results are not surprising, according to many professional Starcraft players. Strategy games, most specifically, Starcraft, have long been effective in improving decision making and problem solving skills, stated pro player Ryan “State” Visbeck.
“The game forces players to think critically, invent new strategies and adapt to ever-changing situations all contribute to the improvement of the activities of daily living.” the 21-year-old ROOT Gaming team member added.”
While the research shows promising results, there have been mixed perceptions on e-gaming, because of the issues of violence and gore in most games.
So the next time someone nags at you for getting hooked on Starcraft, give them the copy of the PLOS ONE paper.