Video games are played on a daily basis, by at least a few million people. This is a huge number of people which plays games on a daily basis. Granted, some of them are professionals who play video games for a living, competing at various events for trophies and money, while others are just casual gamers who prefer playing games to other hobbies.
Many parents are worried because their children cannot be separated from their video games, whether on consoles, mobile phones or on the PC. They get worried because there is a firm belief that video games make people duller and dumber. Well, many scientists claim otherwise. Here is a list of genres and games which can make you smarter.
Strategy games involve the management of resources and units, usually to wage war with other players or a computer. Examples from this genre include Warcraft, the Civilization series or if you like turn-based strategy games, then you cannot go wrong with the Heroes of Might and Magic series. Many of these games cover skills like diplomacy, the management of resources and they all affect brain flexibility and the ability to adapt.
First-person shooters are fairly popular games and the Counter Strike series almost immediately come to mind. Today, younger players enjoy games like Overwatch as they are far more cartoonish and entertaining when it comes to the visuals.
Shooter games develop hand-eye coordination, spatial awareness, reasoning and hypothesis testing. Shooters can be amazing as a training tool for twitch reflexes and precision.
These types of games are as close as they can get to their counterparts in the real world. There are plenty of simulators, for a plethora of things, from truck driving, which is apparently very popular, to various flight simulators. These games are more of learning tools and can teach you a lot of things, from how to drive a truck, to all the essential things you need to do before you can take off in a plane.
Role-playing games are a very specific genre where a person takes on a role of a certain characters. Role-playing games often have intense combat, yet not as trigger-happy as first-person shooters.
Role-playing games shift their emphasis to decision making. Players are frequently tasked with making difficult decisions which have impact on the world around them. A game notorious for its decisions is the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, where seemingly unimportant things shape the world around you and where the figure of the good and bad are completely greyed out.
Puzzle games are quite different to the rest above. They engage the brain in different ways, from problem solving to hypothesis-testing. A prime example of a puzzle game is Portal 2. It looks like a shooter, plays like a shooter, but the only goal you have is to solve a puzzle and get through to the exit point, in a 3D environment by hopping through portals. Other examples include hidden object games like the Mystery Case Files series and the famous Incredible Machine series, which are the one of the foundations of puzzle games.
Video games can make you smarter, that is a fact. Different genres can enhance different abilities, cognitive and physical.