Skilled ‘League Of Legends’ Players Have Higher IQs Than The Rest Of Us, Says New Scientific Study

Scientists at the University of York have found that some video games are very similar to IQ tests when it comes to measuring the intelligence of the player. They’ve discovered that heightened skills at multiplayer action strategy video games indicated advanced levels of intelligence, Science Daily reports.

The researchers focused their study on two popular video game types: multiplayer online battle arena games (MOBAs) and first-person shooter games. MOBAs are action strategy games in which teams of five people normally play against each other. With first-person shooter games, the player shoots targets and sees the gameplay through the eyes of their character.

The study, carried out by York’s Department of Psychology and Computer Science, was divided into two parts. In the first part, they looked at players who were very good at League of Legends, a MOBA.

According to its website, in League of Legends (LoL), players act as “summoners” who are responsible for settling political disputes through arena battles. The champions use weapons like swords, arrows, guns, and magic attacks to kill their enemies. More kills mean additional achievements (i.e. leveling up).

When they tested the group of LoL players, they found that there were similarities between their performance in the game and their scores on standard intelligence tests.

The second part of the study examined results from four games: two MOBAs (League of Legends and Defence of the Ancients 2) and two first-person shooter games (Destiny and Battlefield 3). When they compared the performance of both groups, they found a strong link between advanced proficiency in strategy video games and a high IQ. The same connection is seen in real-world strategy games like chess.

The findings also indicated that, for players who are skilled at action strategy games, the correlation between skill and IQ did not diminish with age.

“Games such as League of Legends and DOTA 2 are complex, socially-interactive and intellectually demanding. Our research would suggest that your performance in these games can be a measure of intelligence,” said Professor Alex Wade of the University of York’s Department of Psychology.

He added that while players need speed and accuracy to excel at first-person shooter games, MOBAs like League of Legends demand that players make critical decisions after taking multiple factors into account. You also have to rely a lot on memory to do well at a game like League of Legends or DOTA 2, which can explain the high IQ test scores.

The researchers on this study stressed that their findings did not mean that these video games made the players more intelligent. Rather, advanced skill at these games indicates an innate intelligence that fuels their success.

[Featured Image by Riot Games]