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[PowerUp REVIEW] Portal 2

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Thinking with Portals: How a Video Game Can Sharpen Your Real-Life Skills

For many, video games are a source of entertainment, a way to unwind after a long day. But what if I told you that a specific game could not only entertain you but also enhance your cognitive abilities and improve real-life skills? Enter Portal 2, the critically acclaimed puzzle game that’s not just fun, but also surprisingly beneficial for your brain.

A 2014 study by researchers at Florida State University compared the effects of playing Portal 2 with Lumosity, a popular brain-training program. The results were clear: participants who played Portal 2 showed significant improvement in three key areas:

Problem-solving: Portal 2’s core gameplay revolves around solving increasingly complex puzzles. Players need to think creatively, analyze situations, and experiment with different solutions to progress. This translates to better problem-solving skills in real-world scenarios, from tackling work challenges to navigating everyday situations.

Spatial skills: The game world of Portal 2 is full of three-dimensional puzzles, forcing players to visualize objects in space and mentally manipulate them. This constant engagement with spatial reasoning leads to improved mental rotation, depth perception, and spatial awareness, all of which are valuable in various aspects of life, from driving and navigating new environments to understanding complex blueprints or schematics.

Persistence: Not every attempt in Portal 2 yields immediate success. Players often encounter failure, requiring them to adapt, adjust their strategies, and try again. This gameplay loop fosters persistence and resilience, encouraging players to push through challenges and not give up easily – a valuable trait applicable to any personal or professional endeavor.

Beyond the findings of this study, Portal 2 offers additional benefits:

Critical thinking: The game’s narrative challenges players to think critically about the world around them, questioning authority and seeking solutions beyond the obvious.

Creativity: With its open-ended puzzles and encouragement of experimentation, Portal 2 fosters creative thinking and the ability to approach problems from unconventional angles.

Communication (co-op mode): Playing in co-operative mode encourages teamwork, communication, and collaboration, all crucial skills in various social and professional settings.

It’s important to note that moderation is key. While Portal 2 can offer cognitive benefits, excessive gaming can have negative consequences.

8.0 TOTAL SCORE

Real Life Skill Review

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portal 2

The game is rated based on 5 real-life skills that we believe are the main ones trained by playing it. Other skills are ignored (i.e. for a game like Tetris, the development of real-life skills such as Learning would not be evaluated).


Problem Solving 9
Spacial Skill 7
Persistence 8
Critical Thinking 8
Creativity 8

So, the next time you’re looking for a way to entertain yourself and potentially sharpen your mind, consider picking up a copy of Portal 2. You might be surprised at how much you can learn while having fun.

Discover other games to develop your real life skills!

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