This is one of those times when I'm not telling ; I'm asking . Before the shooter fans freak out, please bear in mind that I'm not about to offer up my own opinion as a definitive answer.

It's a question that has a place in most any entertainment venue: is the type of entertainment in which you indulge indicative of your raw intelligence? Perhaps it stands to reason that those who listen to classical music, watch award-winning foreign films with subtitles, and read literary classics are smarter than those who listen to hip-hop or metal, list "Hot Tub Time Machine" as one of their favorite movies, and read Danielle Steele and believe it's actually a good novel. Of course, I just set myself up for plenty of repercussions because I implied certain groups of people aren't intelligent just 'cuz they like rap or chick lit or whatever, but I'm hoping the truly intelligent people can understand I'm merely trying to make a point. And in relation to gaming, can it be said that role-playing fans (or fans of artistic, story-driven games like Heavy Rain ) are, in general, smarter than fans of shooters?

It's true that some games take more in the way of thought and brain-power, and there are quite a few kids and other not-so-bright individuals who really only play sports games and shooters. But maybe gaming is different. For the most part, hardcore gamers really enjoy playing many different genres; if it's fantastic, they probably want to experience it. Furthermore, some of the more in-depth games require bigger time commitments, and time is something some very intelligent people simply don't have. So just because they kick back with a fun shooter every now and then doesn't stop that person from being a chemist during the day. On top of which, we can never discount personal preferences. Some people just don't like RPGs or so-called "deeper" interactive adventures; they play to have fun, and their idea of fun is a simple, motion-driven, fully accessible Wii game.

In your experience, what do you find to be true? I mean, we shouldn't forget that complex and intricate video games didn't really exist when we were growing up, and as gaming was a "nerd's hobby" and nerds were – almost by definition – really smart, the intelligent people grew up playing simple, straightforward, shoot-'em-ups and beat-'em-ups. Now, maybe they've grown up since and, being intelligent, have graduated to deeper games. But then again, maybe they still love the easier, pick-up-and-play titles to this day. …maybe it just isn't fair to think we can predict a person's base intelligence by the games they play.

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wakkaoaka
wakkaoaka
12 years ago

It's hard to say. In all genres I think there are both intelligent, and stupid players. Right now i'm playing a lot of killzone 2 instead of ffxiii because it's a great release after university. This year i've been liking 'simple' games like Split Second because of the above reason.

Anyways, i think that the most intelligent gamer wouldn't stick to any genre… but play any sort of game, as long as it is "good". But then again, intelligence is subjective…


Last edited by wakkaoaka on 7/21/2010 10:06:18 PM

Riku994
Riku994
12 years ago

Did…did you mean to type "Shooter funs"?

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
12 years ago

oh the irony.

Hitch
Hitch
12 years ago

Of what, shooters being fun? Or that a shooter fan would be likely to make a spelling error like that…


Last edited by Hitch on 7/21/2010 10:43:07 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
12 years ago

You almost had it Hitch, that a huge RPG fan would make that mistake when the article asks us this particular question.

Hitch
Hitch
12 years ago

Oh ok I see…

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
12 years ago

Sorry, the instant I posted this I lost power for a while. So I couldn't correct it until now.

fluffer nutter
fluffer nutter
12 years ago

In other news, "lost power" becomes the new term for playing with the Wii.

Beamboom
Beamboom
12 years ago

LOL – punchline of the month, Fluffer!

Pandacastro
Pandacastro
12 years ago

This is a tough topic. In my school theres kids that do drugs and some of the teachers make fun of them but out of nowhere one of them outsmarted the teacher and was embarrass.Some other who fails a lot of classes got a perfect score in those government test and those that study barely pass.However I dont know about video games. Most of my friends play shooters and make of me for hating mw2.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
12 years ago

Hmmm…well, I'm gonna give a non-answer in answer to your question.

RPGs require strategy, planning and management skills, it's very much a case of planning in advance and managing the resources during combat.

Shooters require different kinds of strategy, more tactical and situational awareness and you must more interactively manage what is going on.

I think that in both cases a smart gamer can excel. The smarter gamer will learn the AI and exploit it.

Now, to generalize I don't think that the majority of Shooter players are gifted with the sharpest wits. I do think that in general RPG players have a higher proportion of 'smart' folks. It's a more bookish game style, and as anyone (including Ben) can tell you people who read for pleasure are statistically likely to have a higher IQ than those that do not regularly read for pleasure.

I think that forms of entertainment that feature large amounts of violence and action do appeal to people with lower IQ scores and poorer education. Again this is a generalization, nothing more or less. And it doesn't mean that if you like an action movie and a shooter, that I think you can't tie your own shoe laces. Far from it. We're talking about a few IQ points here and there and differences in educational history.

OK, I know some are probably wanting to call me an elitist pig. No, I'm not. I'm not making a judgment here at all. I love action movies and play action games, and even the occasional multi-player action like Uncharted 2 online. It's not about specifics, it's about the general picture and trends.

It's like the differebnce between geeks and jocks. Geeks generally will like the RPGS, jocks (and believe me I thought long and hard about using this word instead of others) will gravitate towards shooters and twitch gaming. One kind of game favors cereberal reactions, and the other favors physical reaction (twitchers).

SO, in general I think there is a pattern, but on a gamer by gamer basis, it depends on a lot of factors. So I guess I'm saying yes…but it depends.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
12 years ago

A fine job separating trends from a cause and effect relationship I say 🙂

Underdog15
Underdog15
12 years ago

What am I? My first degree is a double major in Theatre Arts and Physical Education. And in high school, I was a bandie and a jock. Obviously, as a huge video game fan and interest in scholastic studies, I suppose I'm a mix… call me a jeek… or a knock…

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
12 years ago

Not everyone fits into a category Underdog… ya big Jerd.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
12 years ago

Sounds about right. But yeah, I suppose any correct answer would have to be a "non-answer" because so many factors have to be taken into account.

maxpontiac
maxpontiac
12 years ago

Can't argue with that.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
12 years ago

With age comes wisdom, and gray hair…and slower reaction times.

Shams
Shams
12 years ago

I LOL'ed at the shoe-tying bit!

Temjin001
Temjin001
12 years ago

I can't answer this question with anything serious, so I;ll answer it with this…

I was born a twitch-gamer and I'll die a twitch gamer, and no one ever has, or will be, smarter than me.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
12 years ago

INdeed, but you have to admit that there are more than a few utter morons who play shooters? Not everyone by any means, but shooters do seem to attract more than their fair share of idiots, especially online.

Temjin001
Temjin001
12 years ago

Highlander, you were supposed to say "spoken like a true twitcher."

Underdog15
Underdog15
12 years ago

Oh for sure. You certainly cannot put folks in the same boat. My cousin-in-law is currently attaining his PhD in medical physics, and he is a shooter fan. Mind you, he enjoys games like Portal, as well, but his game of choice is a shooter.

However, most people I see playing MW2, are pretty dumb. I've had countless people harp on me for being cheap for using a heartbeat sensor. But why then continue to NOT use ninja, and rush at me is beyond me. Similarly, when someone has a comment about my game style, somehow my mother and her raciness comes into the discussion. Now, I know these shooter fans are either lying or are truly unintelligent… I mean… afterall… even my father wouldn't want to brag about banging my mom in the proverbial 'sac'. Why anyone would be proud of that is beyond me.

Nevertheless, I typically give the same feedback to these folks suggesting they try dropping the controller, moving out of their parents basement, and sign up for a GED course to make up for being a high school drop out.

(Side note of hilarity: I once called a "I did your mom" player a high school drop out. He followed up with a moment of silence followed by a… "Shut the ^$%* up! School's for gay &$*#'s!" … so… case in point, perhaps?)

Nevertheless, I seem to come across these types of people every night I play with my friends, yet on ModNation Racers, for example, I have yet to encounter these morons. I regularly encounter well spoken individuals (a rare novelty in MW2, I assure you!) and have a great time with perfect strangers!!

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
12 years ago

Out of the blue: Even I am starting to worry we won't see a Modnation review Underdog.


Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 7/21/2010 10:46:05 PM

Underdog15
Underdog15
12 years ago

I'll do one soon, probably. I've actually been working on a huge project about video games and art, which is why I haven't done any reviews in a while. It's a big work that I'm trying to be very thorough with. I'm also making sure I have a huge number of references to deal with so the research isn't too saturated with personal opinion. Since I believe video games CAN be tremendous works of art (which we've seen), I am a believer that the research will point in that direction. Obviously, with such a subjective study, it's important to be very clear with lots of representation of data.

So… ya… busy with that. lol

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
12 years ago

Oh don't hurry, I meant PSXE, but I will read yours too.

PAKINIPS
PAKINIPS
12 years ago

Still haven't purchased modnation racers. I need one more review from my trusted site

fluffer nutter
fluffer nutter
12 years ago

Just get the game already! Now! Get some beer and steer those queers! Yeehaw!

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
12 years ago

I'm not sure what side of the coin my smarts lie with playing games, since I'm not into the real RPGs, or strategy games(oh sports either).

But I do like FPS, TPS, puzzlers, & platform games, so maybe I'm just a semi-intellectual game-test dummy.


Last edited by BikerSaint on 7/21/2010 10:25:14 PM

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
12 years ago

that's what I was getting at in my post, it's a different kind of intelligence. I think that there can just as easily be a smart Shooter player out there. Sometimes it's the players taste in games, sometimes it's what they're good at, and sometimes it's just circumstance. But you have to admit that the online multi-player shooter scene is populated by the intellectual dregs of society…especially on the Xbox PleaseFixMe.

ace_boon_coon
ace_boon_coon
12 years ago

well i love all geners, but i loved rpg's more when i was younger now i love shooters, i also love hip hop. i consider myself pretty smart, so this stupid may not be that accurate. there are smart shooters that you can't just run through. i blame call of duty for this study.

Sir Shak
Sir Shak
12 years ago

Kind of ironic when you write an article about intelligence and make a spelling mistake in the title. 🙂

WolfCrimson
WolfCrimson
12 years ago

Intelligence and making mistakes aren't related.

Shams
Shams
12 years ago

True, but I believe humility, and the ability to admit ones mistakes, and correct them, are.

WolfCrimson
WolfCrimson
12 years ago

Hehe, true.

StangMan80
StangMan80
12 years ago

I don't think you can judge someones "intelligents" by what games they play.
I my self like GT5, Infamous, Red Dead Redemption, Dirt, Kill Zone, Uncharted, and Havy Rain.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
12 years ago

lol @ "intelligents"

And I proclaim this article is "bias"!

Jawknee
Jawknee
12 years ago

LOL!

Qubex
Qubex
12 years ago

Ben, it is quite a complex question to deliberate because one cannot judge a book by its cover.

What life has taught me over the years is that assuming anything, when it comes to judgment of character, "usually" amounts to incorrect speculation – for the most part.

Most human beings surprise, either way… This applies to gamers and their motivations for purchasing certain titles and playing them…

A quick example. You may get a top accountant, a specialist brain surgeon, a very talented mathematician… and yet, when the get home after a very heavy day at the office, surgery or lecture hall, they may simply want to sit down in front of games that are "easy" on them.

They don't particularly want to use their brains… they are exhausted and they descend into "twitch gaming" for their fix… they need to relax, they don't want to track complex stories or try to figure out the mechanics of a deep RPG.

But, you can never tell, because some people who come home having had a very demanding day, have such active minds, are so brilliant in what they do, that if they sit down and play something too "simple" they get bored and switch off.

They actually perform worst as a casual gamer rather than playing as a hardcore gamer; simply because their minds need a challenge, every second of the day. It is the way they, the way they are wired up.

You may meet an individual who seems quiet, maybe even a little slow, doesn't have a particularly interesting career but is happy with an average wage and more spare time than most to play games.

You then discover he is a brilliant gamer, has all the platinum trophies, and is as hardcore as you can get. Same with females; it is difficult to judge until you get to know that character… therefore, generally speaking, one can't assume anything.

Humanity surprises me everyday… I see/read/hear/talk to what amounts to pure stupidity, or pure genius. It cuts both ways, and yet these types of people fit into a variety of gamer categories.

It is very difficult to tell without knowing the individual concerned to some extent.

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"


Last edited by Qubex on 7/21/2010 10:36:52 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
12 years ago

Be careful what you think you know about somebody because you are probably wrong 🙂

Qubex
Qubex
12 years ago

Yes, that is a good way of summarising it World…

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

Alienange
Alienange
12 years ago

There are definitely some people who view RPGs as a chore and won't go near them just as there are those who don't find a shooter stimulating enough.

Are we to sit back and start discriminating now? Are we fooling ourselves into thinking that these two game genres are somehow polar opposites? As if somehow people who play Risk are more intelligent than those who play Jenga?

No. The type of game you play doesn't make you smarter than someone else. It only shows what you enjoy doing for entertainment. And sometimes, it's both.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
12 years ago

The issue I have is in companies that want to wrench the two genres together (ahem Square Enix) and in so doing destroy their games which should have been squarely in a particular camp.

Underdog15
Underdog15
12 years ago

I don't think it's about labeling an entire genre so much as asking the question about which intellectual stream is more likely to be drawn to which genre.

There are certainly dumb RPG'ers and smart shooters, but if you did a large case study of say a few thousand randomly selected individuals, would you find a coefficient between their overall group intelligence and the genre they are drawn to?

The other problem that we'll find at this website, of course, is the fact that most posters here are typically pretty intelligent individuals. Most unintelligent gamers won't spend time on forums and comment boards, let alone read Ben's entire article.


Last edited by Underdog15 on 7/21/2010 11:00:59 PM

NoSmokingBandit
NoSmokingBandit
12 years ago

"No. The type of game you play doesn't make you smarter than someone else. "

I think Ben is asking quite the opposite; if your intelligence draws you to different genres, not games molding one's intelligence.

I think its somewhat fair toe say that less intelligent people arent going to enjoy an RPG and are consequently less likely to play one. Even if someone less intelligent loves RPGs, they arent going to be very good, much like strategy and puzzle games (actual puzzle games, not Super Collapse).

So if someone finds they are terrible at a certain genre they are more likely to just play something else instead. Shooters would be an easy choice because theres not much penalty if you die, so improperly analyzing a situation only puts you back 2 minutes instead of losing 30+ minutes since the last save point in an RPG.

Thats not to say smarter people wont like shooters. I know after a long day of tests and exams at school i'd enjoy going home and mindlessly blowing the hell out of some aliens just to unwind.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
12 years ago

Based on my personal experience with many a low-IQ having friend and acquaintance, yes the unintelligent really gravitate toward shooters because there is a simple learning curve: the controls are either all the same or similar, there is little to think about, the story is simple, and the action is constant.

RPGs take time, patience, thought, and strategical skills. Again it is just my person experience, but the RPG players tend to be on the brighter side.

I fancy myself a rounded individual, so I play most genres, but it's rather obvious that the shooter crowd (and to a great extent the 360 crowd) can't hang with anything beyond a certain complexity.

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
12 years ago

Highlander, Yup, totally agree with you.
One of my two bots gave me a two day live code, so I'd play some co-op Gears 2.
Now, I've never really got the chance to play the SP mode in Gears 1 or 2 yet, so I'm fairly new to the game.

But we had our mics on & he went on & on & on about thegame, & trying to show me where every little hidden prize was located. He also told me he plays Gears 2 every single day so he knows it by heart.

I finally had enough & told him to STFU about all the spoilers, so I could enjoy find everything on my own.

BTW, this is the same bot that tells everyone at work(whether they're a gamer or not)that he's on a mission to be the #1 shooter in the world & that his ranking is 36 thousand something. All my bot ever does plays is shooters and although he's in his 30's, he act's like a 11 year old juvenile with ADD.

Must be something with those electronic brain-wave pulses the 360 sends out to it's bots.
Thank goodness that can NEVER happen to me cause whenever I play my 360, my tin-foil helmet repels ALL company, & minion bot, bullsh*t.


Last edited by BikerSaint on 7/21/2010 10:54:47 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
12 years ago

Welcome to the tinfoil hat brigade 🙂

Swim_Irr
Swim_Irr
12 years ago

Einstein had ADD

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
12 years ago

@swim_Irr

So do I – proper diagnosis and everything.

Swim_Irr
Swim_Irr
12 years ago

🙂 As do I