A new study has found a link between higher-skilled League of Legends players and intelligence (it’s likely UK scene players weren’t tested) .
Researchers at the University of York have discovered the link between young people’s ability to perform well at MOBA games League and Dota 2, and high levels of intelligence.
Studies carried out at the Digital Creativity Labs (DC Labs) at York – published here – focused on MOBA games and first-person shooter (FPS) games.
The team from York’s Departments of Psychology and Computer Science found a correlation between performance in League of Legends and performance in standard paper-and-pencil intelligence tests.
A second study analysed data sets from four games: Two MOBAs (League of Legends and Dota 2) and two first-person shooters (Destiny and Battlefield 3).
“Unlike FPS games where speed and target accuracy are a priority, MOBAs rely more on memory and the ability to make strategic decisions taking into account multiple factors.”
Researchers found that for large groups consisting of thousands of players, performance in MOBAs and IQ behave in similar ways as players get older. But this effect was not found for FPSs, where performance declined after the teens.
Athanasios Kokkinakis, a PhD student with the EPSRC Centre for Intelligent Games and Game Intelligence (IGGI) research programme at York, said: “Unlike FPS games where speed and target accuracy are a priority, MOBAs rely more on memory and the ability to make strategic decisions taking into account multiple factors.
“It is perhaps for these reasons that we found a strong correlation between skill and intelligence in MOBAs.”
The researchers say the correlation between ability at League and a high IQ is similar to the correlation seen in other more traditional strategy games such as chess.
The York researchers stressed that the studies have no bearing on questions such as whether playing computer games makes young people smarter or otherwise.
“They simply establish a correlation between skill at certain online games of strategy and intelligence,” the report stated.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
A keen League of Legends and World of Warcraft player, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He works as full-time content director for the British Esports Association and runs ENUK in his spare time.