You Might Just Have a Smaller Brain

Are you unable to complete complex tasks in video games? Are you the type of player that is good at completing objectives, but getting to that point is a complete mess? Well, maybe you just have a smaller striatum(section of your brain) than some other gamers.

Psychologists at the University of Pittsburgh ran a series of tests on people who don’t normally play video games to see if brain size determined their ability in game. The test consisted of 36 college students that didn’t game often and a game made for the experiment called Space Fortress (rad name guys). Each student played the game, in which you control a floating spaceship trying to take out a fortress with missiles while avoiding mines, for ten 2 hour sessions.  They gave one group of the students the task of racking up the highest score, while they gave the other group smaller in-game tasks, such as trying to control the ship better and dealing with mines as quickly as possible.

They found that the subjects with the larger striatums in the group where score wasn’t a factor completed those tasks better than their peers. The size of striatum wasn’t a factor in the group that was told to get the highest score.

So, in trying to get something done by whatever means necessary striatum size isn’t really a factor? But, when trying to complete tasks that are going to attribute to you playing the game better striatum size does matter? That’s like saying in people who think about what they’re doing and plan things brain size matters, while in people who just play a game without giving it too much thought brain size isn’t a factor.

I also wasn’t able to get my hands on the original article this time, so who knows, they may have touched on how exactly score was calculated. Like, if completion time was a factor in score.  If so, that could explain a lot. Obviously in people who are just thinking “destroy as quick as possible” striatum size is going to be less of a factor than in someone who is given in game tasks that don’t involve just trying to blow something up as quickly as possible.

The article where I got this information can be found here. Feel free to yell at me if you don’t agree.

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