According to researchers from the Queen Mary Univeristy and University College London, playing fast-paced, complicated games such as StarCraft can help non-gamers improve their higher-level compentencies such as cognitive flexibility.
In laymens terms, playing those complicated games can make you smarter. The researchers wanted to find out if playing the fast-paced games that required vast amounts of multitasking and quick-thinking would help, and it looks like it did. The researchers grabbed a group of non-gaming students, tasking them with playing StarCraft or The Sims, intensely, over a two-month period.
They simultaneously took a series of non-gaming tests, with the researchers discovering that the subjects who chose to play the click-heavy SarCraft performed at a higher rate in cognitive flexibility tasks than those who chose to play The Sims, which is a more sedate experience. Researcher Brian Glass said: "Previous research has demonstrated that action video games, such as Halo, can speed up decision making. The current work finds that real-time strategy games can promote our ability to think on-the-fly and learn from past mistakes."