If you’re good at video games, you’re probably highly intelligent

Rob Waugh

New research suggests League Of Legends and Dota 2 act like IQ tests.

Teachers and parents tend not to be too overjoyed when youngsters spend hours blasting away on the latest video games, but they might be making a mistake.

A new study has shown that fast-paced strategy games such as League of Legends act almost like intelligence tests – and that repeated play might train players to think.

Researchers found that people who were better at League of Legends and Defence of the Ancients 2 (DOTA 2) had higher intelligence.

The better people were at playing, the higher their IQ score, the researchers found.

Professor Alex Wade, from the University of York, said: ‘Games such as League of Legends and DOTA 2 are complex, socially-interactive and intellectually demanding.

New research suggests League Of Legends and Dota 2 act like IQ tests.

‘Our research would suggest that your performance in these games can be a measure of intelligence.

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‘Research in the past has pointed to the fact that people who are good at strategy games such as chess tend to score highly at IQ tests.

‘Our research has extended this to games that millions of people across the planet play every day.’

The researchers found that First Person Shooter games in which players view the action through the eyes of characters they control did not demonstrate the same link with IQ.

York PhD student Athanasios Kokkinakis, the study’s lead author, said: ‘Unlike First Person Shooter (FPS) games where speed and target accuracy are a priority, Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas rely more on memory and the ability to make strategic decisions taking into account multiple factors.’

The findings appear in the journal Public Library of Science ONE.