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Upon thinking about my childhood and what some of my old friends are doing now, I realized that the friends of mine that spent time playing video games are some of the smartest people I know.

I don’t think this is coincidence, as I was a fairly hardcore gamer in my younger years (1st – 9th grade) and I can confidently say that it has shaped the way that I think and problem solve.

I will preface by saying that I have met plenty of what seem to be mushy brained individuals that eat terrible food and play 10+ hours of video games a day.That behavior is not healthy. I wouldn’t recommend it. On the other hand, I do know that video games can engage your brain in a way that not much else can. Especially when you are growing up.

“On the other hand, I do know that video games can engage your brain in a way that not much else can. Especially when you are growing up.”

When I played video games daily I enjoyed titles like Final Fantasy, Mario, Diablo, and the Elder Scrolls series (where my Morrowind fans at?). These games told me stories and taught me to problem solve. They engaged my mind by making me think abstractly about the world around me. In a way, video games have made me who I am.

With every boss came a new pattern of behavior that I had to solve to overcome him. With every new city came different people that I had to find or new tasks I had to complete. Many things that I was doing in my room at 10 years old were preparing me for life in my twenties.

“Many things that I was doing in my room at 10 years old were preparing me for life in my twenties.”

The next time you think that gaming is a waste of time, think again. Make sure you are playing games that facilitate problem solving and abstract thinking, but by playing games daily, you may find that you are the smartest person you know!

Jarod Dickson

www.mradio.wordpress.com

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