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Video Games Will Make Us Smarter

The BriefGet Up To Speed

As video games gain prominence, some game creators are turning to global issues, such as poverty alleviation, international diplomacy, and combating climate change, for inspiration. Playing these socially minded games, they argue, allows users to build tangible skills in combating crisis and solving critical problems. But others see the multibillion-dollar gaming industry, dominated by portrayals of crime and war, as a threat that desensitizes its users to violence and encourages anti-social behavior. Will video games soon provide innovative solutions to our most pressing social, political and economic challenges? Or is the impact of gaming overrated and potentially destructive?


A battle has been brewing over whether brain training really works, leaving consumers stuck in the middle, scratching their heads.

Thursday, October 20, 2016
Jacqueline Howard

The truth is that despite 15 years of research, we don’t actually know how — or if, really — brain-training games work.

Thursday, October 23, 2014
Clive Thompson

Some educators swear by them as valuable high-tech teaching tools but little is known about their impact on learning.

Friday, September 12, 2014
Elena Malykhina

Video games enable some of the worst elements of America’s failing education system.

Saturday, March 29, 2014
Michael Thomsen

Researchers from Brown University have found that children who spent more time watching TV, playing video games, or using a smartphone were less likely to finish their homework and, perhaps more ominously, showed less interest in learning overall.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Carly Sitrin

The U.S. Department of Education today launched the EdSim Challenge, a $680,000 competition to design the next-generation of educational simulations that strengthen career and technical skills. The Challenge calls upon the virtual reality, video game developer, and educational technology communities to submit concepts for immersive simulations that will prepare students for the globally competitive workforce of the 21st century.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Mental Health

If you develop a “gameful” mindset, you’ll be more motivated and resilient in the face of everyday challenges.

Sunday, November 15, 2015
Jane McGonigal

Is video game addiction a real thing?

Saturday, April 1, 2017
Christopher Ferguson and Patrick Markey

Mental illness occupies a strange place in video games. Playing video games is not addictive in any meaningful sense. It is normal behavior that, while perhaps in many cases a waste of time, is not damaging or disruptive of lives in the way drug or alcohol use can be.

Thursday, August 20, 2015
Aaron Souppouris

These games are deliberately designed, with the help of psychology consultants, to make players want to keep playing, and they are available on every platform — gaming consoles, computers, smartphones.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Caitlin Gibson
Violence & Aggression

As far as the behavioral addictions go, the main issue is really the degree to which overindulgence in a particular behavior results in serious problems in other areas of a person’s life.

Friday, March 17, 2017
Jesse Singal

More than 200 academics have signed an open letter criticizing controversial new research suggesting a link between violent video games and aggression.

Monday, August 17, 2015
Zoe Kleinman

Emotions and attitudes generated in the virtual world do not simply disappear once the game is finished, and the interactive component of video games enhances this lingering effect.

Sunday, March 30, 2014
Julia Savacool

Shooters don’t necessarily make players more violent. But do they make us more cruel?

Sunday, November 20, 2016
Laura Miller

A prominent example of contested academic terrain is the field of violent video game research, which journalists sometimes find themselves examining and grappling with when reporting on the roots of violent acts and behaviors.

Saturday, January 31, 2015
Margaret Weigel
Stats on Games and Gamers

Some 50% of men and 48% of women play video games, while 15% of men and 6% of women say the term “gamer” describes them well.  A quarter of all adults (26%) think most video games are a waste of time, while 24% think most games are not a waste of time.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Pew Research Center

The most frequent gamers who play multiplayer and online games spend an average of 6.5 hours per week playing with others online, and 4.6 hours per week playing with others in person.

Saturday, February 25, 2017
Joe Tenebruso
Popular Games

Tetris is essentially immortal, and while its 495 million copies are not $60 box copies, it seems almost impossible that anything will ever match its grand total.

Friday, July 8, 2016
Paul Tassi

Representing multiple generations of gamers, TIME's tech team put more than 150 nominees through a multistage ranking process to compile a cross-section of gaming's best ideas across nearly four decades. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016
Alex Fitzpatrick, John Patrick Pullen, Josh Raab, Lev Grossman, Lisa Eadicicco, Matt Peckham, and Matt Vella
Video Games as Escape

As video games get better and job prospects worse, more young men are dropping out of the job market to spend their time in an alternate reality.

Ryan Avent

Many Americans have replaced work hours with game play—and ended up happier.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Frank Guan