How can intellect be effectively and objectively measured? Intelligence is such an oblique, obfuscating concept to begin with, much less as a quantifiable aspect of our personality. Many have, and will continue to, argued that all current standardized tests are inherently flawed on several flaws. After all, the only quotient any test really measures is the ability to take that particular test. As such, the elements involved with such a test are the only significant factor involved, and many accuse I.Q. testing as holding an overall English-speaking bias.
Part of the accusations against these quizzes is their supposed overemphasis on specific aspects of intelligence that can be taken advantage of. For instance, if someone has a natural bend toward pattern recognition, they will undeniably score higher on a standard I.Q. test, even if they possess an otherwise unremarkable intellect.
In terms of video games, the relevant question becomes: Do any elements of gameplay match elements of standardized I.Q. tests? If so, it would seem that repeated play would hone these skills to a level that would result in a positive impact on test scores. The truth, ultimately, is that video games do indeed positively reinforce certain intellectual watermarks, but perhaps not any more so than other activities available to develop these skills.
While some classic components, such as reading comprehension or relational understanding, are only lightly practiced on at best by the broad library of video games available, two particular intellectual characteristics are more heavily tackled; the first is the narrow field of pattern recognition, the second is the comprehensively integral proficiency of problem solving, a.k.a. analytical thinking.
As with much of these intelligence factors, the results can be heavily dependent on genre choice among video games. For instance, few will argue that playing a wrestling or first-person shooter game will have the same effect on a toddler as educational or light adventure titles. There is perhaps no more starkly evident example then pattern recognition, a viable trait that can be heavily exercised by puzzle games, but not nearly as influential in other titles. Video games in the puzzle genre that focus on the manipulation of shapes and color in order to form beneficial patterns rather obviously will impact a player’s pattern recognition skills, which can come in handy for office workplace situations or such subtle uses as home decor and other creative choices.
Problem Solving / Analytical Thinking
No matter what sort of video game you play, whether it is a richly developed role-playing saga or third-person covert combat action, your character encounters situations that demand relevant choices in order to discover a solution. We experience similar dilemmas in everyday life, though not usually with such world-impacting importance as experienced in the games. However, using our brains to figure out the optimal course of action literally exercises and strengthens our capacity to do so to a better extent in the future. This can even lead to cold logic development, which is heavily depended upon within the environment of an I.Q. testing sequence.