Playing these 6 video games could help improve your problem-solving skills


Gamer call of duty

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Playing video games is not always a waste of time.

Jane McGonigal, a world-renowned designer of alternate reality games who has a PhD in performance studies, wants to change people's conception of video games as "just escapist, guilty pleasures."

"My number one goal in life is to see a game designer nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize," McGonigal writes on her website.

She tells Business Insider she wants people to realize that games can be "powerful tools to improve our attention, our mood, our
cognitive strengths, and our relationships."


And research is on her side.

Studies suggest that mainstream games like "Call of Duty" may improve our cognitive abilities significantly more than games specifically designed to do so by designers like Luminosity.

To help spread the truth about common misconceptions, seven neuroscientists from around the world signed the document "A Consensus on the Brain Training Industry from the Scientific Community" in 2014 to say they "object to the claim" that brain teaser games can improve cognitive abilities, as no scientific evidence has been able to confirm such a claim.


Even better for gamers, research from North Carolina State University and Florida State University suggests that mainstream games geared toward entertainment can help improve attention, spatial orientation, and problem solving abilities.

In her book, "Super Better," McGonigal writes that the researchers she talked to about this seeming contradiction offered a simple explanation: "Traditional video games are more complex and harder to master, and they require that the player learn a wider and more challenging range of skills and abilities."

If you want to have fun and stimulate your mind, McGonigal recommends playing one of these six games three times a week for about 20 minutes.