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Real-Time Strategy Games Can Make You Smarter And More Productive-Here’s Why

Real-time strategy games (RTS) allow you to feel like a proper military commander, with the amount of control you exert over groups of soldiers or an entire army. But aside from being a power fantasy, these types of games also give you a cognitive boost, according to a study.

real-time strategy games

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real-time strategy games

Gadgets360 reports about the study’s findings, which reveal that people who are good at RTS games have exhibited better-than-average information processing and cognitive abilities. For instance, they’re better at associating their brain’s resources to specific visual cues, as well as allocating said resources between consistent visual cues more effectively than those who don’t play.

The study, which was published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, also suggests that playing real-time strategy games can lead to long-term, positive changes in the brain.

How The Study On Real-Time Strategy Games Was Conducted

To arrive at their conclusions, the researchers from China’s University of Electronic Science and Technology picked 38 healthy young males from the school. Half of the group were considered expert RTS players, while the other half were beginners with barely six months of experience in one game: the massively popular “League Of Legends.” 

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All study volunteers were asked to do a so-called “blink test.” It is designed to see the tendency of a focused observer to fail to recognize a visual cue if it appears very quickly.

The expert gamers outperformed the beginners by miles. In the test, they were far more effective at detecting targets with immense speed and accuracy, which points to their ability to allocate brain power to the targets (in this sense, the visual cues they had to react to).

In simpler terms, the expert “League Of Legends” players are excellent at efficiently using their brain to react to stimuli, as well as processing information in real-time with lightning-quick, incredibly accurate responses.

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Why Are The Results Like That?

If you understand how RTS games work, you’ll have a basic idea of what’s happening.

RTS games, as previously mentioned, often give you command of armies or squads of soldiers (or in the case of “League of Legends,” command over your own hero while you work with other teammates). Your goal is to defeat the enemy by either destroying their home base and killing enough enemy units, or by completing specialized tasks like defending strategic points.

These games test a player’s ability to focus and think on their feet. They don’t know what their enemies are planning and must account for all contingencies if they want to win. Unlike turn-based strategy titles which give you near-unlimited time to think before your next move, RTS games need you to make the right decisions on the fly.

Constant, long-term exposure to situations where you have to improvise and adapt to unpredictable enemy movement is bound to make your brain better and more efficient at processing information in a jiffy. It can quite literally make you smarter and might be of great help in real life situations, especially those which require you to work under constant pressure.

Real-Time Strategy Games Can Also Make You More Productive

Combine the cognitive improvements with other facets like teamwork, better stress management in pressure-packed situations, and better decision-making skills, and real-time strategy games can also make you more productive, writes BrightPod.

A lot of modern work environments will often ask people to perform and make the right choices under pressure. Well, if you can react to an enemy commander’s decisions like it is second nature, then you can use those skills to be an excellent worker as well. Don’t discount the effect that RTS games can have on your life.

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Written by RJ Pierce

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