Gamers vs. Gamified Assessments


Annemarein Braakman

Onderwerp Blog
Gepubliceerd op

24 June 2019

A frequently asked question about Gamified Assessments is wheter experienced gamers score better. Experienced gamers could have an advantage because of their skill in playing games. But to what extent is this experience something that gives them an advantage in a gamified assessment? Do they not also reap the benefits of these skills in everyday life?

Cognitive differences
A lot of research has been done into the differences in cognitive skills between experienced gamers and non-gamers. This generally suggests that advanced gamers can respond more quickly, score higher on mental agility and have better spatial skills. Mental flexibility is the ability to adapt your thoughts and behaviors to new, changing or unexpected events. Spatial skills refer to the ability to understand and memorize spatial relationships between objects or space. Research into the causal effect of gaming on cognitive skills is not entirely evident. But overall, experienced gamers score better on some specific cognitive skills than non-gamers.

Thus, go gaming a lot?
If gaming improves our cognitive skills, then what are we waiting for? Do we all have to schedule some time to go gaming? And thus improve our cognitive skills. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work quite like that. First of all, the advantages of gaming are domain specific. Gamers who play a lot of action video games perform better when it comes to switching between tasks and updating the working memory. But for example, it does not improve the speed of information processing in other tasks. It depends very much on what type of games you are playing. Different types of games have different effects. This means that a specific type of game can only help you improve a certain set of skills. These skills are related to the tasks you have to perform in that game. There is no single game that can improve all aspects of your cognitive performance.

In addition, there is a limit to what extent playing games can help you to improve your skills. If you game often, your reaction speed will improve, to a certain extent. As for the development of all the skills that originate in the brain; they cannot develop infinitely. There is room for growth, but there is a biological ceiling. This ceiling is unique to all, and depends on the biological building blocks that you have acquired naturally. These building blocks determine what your potential is.

Gamers vs. NeurOlympics
Experienced gamers will score slightly better on certain aspects of a gamified assessment. Although this depends on the type of game they mostly play. But it is good to mention that they will score lower on other aspects. For example, gamers often respond faster. But speed always goes at the expense of precision. So, it is likely that they will make more mistakes. Games often require resolute and intuitive decisions to be made quickly. Experienced gamers will rely more on their intuition, but therefore the inhibition of responses will be more difficult for them.

The gamified assessment games of BrainsFirst, the NeurOlympics, chart the brain potency. This is something different than game skills. If you have done a lot of gaming, or still game very often, you may have improved some of your cognitive skills. Within your potential. However, this will not make a big difference in the assessment. These differences will only become visible when a gamer plays at a high or professional level. The NeurOlympics give insight into the skills that you are naturally best at. When someone is able to play at a high level, it will be able to respond quickly and intuitively. He needs to have the biological building blocks that underlie the skills that distinguishes a good gamer from amateur gamers. Gaming has a minimal effect on your cognitive skills. But the natural predisposition to specific cognitive skills is essential to become a good gamer.

Want to know more?
Contact Annemarein Braakman, she is happy to tell you how BrainsFirst maps these biological building blocks.