In a new study, researchers have said that spending more time playing video games will boost intelligence in children, which goes some way to contradict the narrative that gaming is bad for young minds. The results published in the journal Scientific Reports showed that those who played more games than the average increased their intelligence between the two measurements by approximately 2.5 IQ points more than the average.
In a report by Midday, Torkel Klingberg, a professor of cognitive neuroscience at the Department of Neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, said, "We didn't examine the effects of screen behaviour on physical activity, sleep, wellbeing or school performance, so we can't say anything about that."
He further said that the study results support the claim that spending time in front of a screen for prolonged periods of time does not impair a child's cognitive abilities and that playing video games can play a huge part in boosting their intelligence.
How Was The Research Conducted?
To conduct the study and reach this conclusion, the researchers at Karolinska teamed up with the researchers at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. The research was conducted on children in the United States, and they studied the link between screen habits and intelligence overtime in over 9,000 boys and girls aged nine or ten.
The research showed that, on average, the children spent 2.5 hours a day watching TV, half an hour on social media, and 1-hour playing video games. The team noted that the results are also in line with recent research showing that intelligence is not a constant but a quality that is influenced by environmental factors. "We'll now be studying the effects of other environmental factors and how the cognitive effects relate to childhood brain development," Klingberg said.
The only limitation of the study is that the study was only conducted on children in the US, and it failed to differentiate between the different types of video games. These limitations proved to be a hindrance and made the results difficult to transfer to children in countries other than the US who have different gaming habits, as there are many types of video games in the market, with each having a different and unique experience.