free web tracker Super Friends: Chess vs. Halo

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Chess vs. Halo

Does playing chess actually improve your mind more than, say, playing a video game?

Men's Health magazine asked the question earlier this month. What do you think?


Blogger daleman said...

i think both kick butt, and if i can get smarter while doing them, i see no reason to ever leave my house again:)

9:26 PM  
Blogger 1987dodge said...

Yeah, but does either one actually make a positive difference? Or are they just equally valid time-wasting devices? I'd like to think there's some benefit.

5:57 AM  
Blogger Shadow said...

Chess most certainly improves one's self, all intellectually. It is the logic, the strategy, the tactics, all bleed over into other areas that we use. Math, problem solving skills, science, hell too much for me to even think of. Now for halo, problem solving....finger/brain coordination...happiness levels...if you where ever unsure of where to put ur money, there ya go. All very benefiting indeed.

2:53 PM  
Blogger 1987dodge said...


I think you're right about the skills chess and Halo both teach. I don't think anybody could question those. On the other hand, do the games apply to a more general context? Or are the skills too specific? For instance, does being a good Halo player really make me better at anything other than Halo-type reality/war games?

4:16 PM  
Blogger puppy_king said...

Has anybody ever played Advanced Wars for the GBA? It is an great war stratagy game. I think the turn based game play really has helped me to problem solve and such. I just wish it could helpme with my spelling.....

6:49 PM  
Blogger Shadow said...

Yeah i do think that being good in Halo or chess would make you better at other things. The thing is that you may just use your newfound talent in just halo. Ever play paintball? The war mindset that you would use in halo would most definatly bleed over into things of that nature, even though the body might be the only limitation you can still preform in ur noggin. I have read numerous studies and stories about how chess improves all these different things, football, martial arts, writing literature, and many other things. Do a search for those types of stories and see what ya find.

5:24 PM  
Blogger 1987dodge said...


I've read the studies too, and they go even farther than that. One study in Canada concluded that students who play chess perform better on standardized tests (although the sample size was a classroom of 14 gifted and talented kids). I'd like to believe the studies are true, but there are similar studies out there for kids who play band, kids who play soccer, kids who memorize poems, ad nauseum. I'm wondering if you, personally, have noticed any differences because here's what the studies are missing: a causal relationship. We can say that kids who play chess are smart. But who's to say that's not just because "smart kids like to play chess" as opposed to "playing chess makes kids smart." And even if chess does make you smart, does it do a better job than other activities (like video games)?


Haven't heard of the game. Sounds interesting.

9:25 PM  
Blogger Shadow said...

I think that finding that casual relationship will be harder than those Candadian stories. The stereotypes do impose themselves enough to say that smart kids like chess more than chess makes kids smarter. Getting smarter out of the game depends on a few factors really. Such as drive: if you have a drive to win at this game or a drive to get better, that would imply you have the capacity for drive at will which would give that person an edge over the average joe. Intellegence is debatable to smartness; having the heart to do better is just as good as understanding at an unheard of rate. Training ur chess muscles would indeed make you better at the game over time, but it does not mean that it will bleed over into something else. As stated, it is trained in chess and unless the other things relate to chess on a few levels it may do nothing for something, such as ur portfolio. Back to the topic, stereotypes influence that ratio of smarts already to chess making you smarter. When you mention it to anyone who does not play, the claim that they are too stupid to understand what in the world you are talking about. Yet as with other games, skill is either as natural as breathing or(like the rest of us) gained through the years. I guess im saying it has to do more with the state of mind than with actual effectiveness. Haha, in case none of this makes sense, i excuse myself because of the fact that my thought processes far outspeed my typing skills. Many arguments came to mind but i forgot half as i was typing.

8:04 PM  

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