portal 2According to researchers at Florida State University, playing the video game “Portal 2” makes you smarter than training your brain with the well-known Lumosity system.

They divided 77 volunteers into two groups, asking each to play either Lumosity or Portal 2 for eight hours. Standardized tests later measured problem solving, spatial skills and persistence. All Portal-playing volunteers had an edge over the Lumosity volunteers. It’s a small study, but it confirms what we’ve often thought and said: Video games are challenging.

Games are big stuff and command a wide audience. “League of Legends,” for example, which can be played for free or with a membership fee, has 70 million players who log on at least once a month and 20 million who play every day. Best guess, from a guy we know in the business, League of Legends has about 20 percent of the market. “World of Warcraft,” which cannot be played for free, has about 10 million regular players. From previous studies we’ve seen, we know that most players are not teenagers, but are overwhelmingly in their mid 20s to 30s. Joy says she doesn’t care about the study. Lumosity is fun and makes her feel smart.

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