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What kind of games make you smarter?

How Can Games Make You Smarter?

There is a growing body of evidence that this is true, games can make you smarter.  Silvia’s graduate student Allyson Mackey published her study of a 10 week trial program using games – including ThinkFun games - that dramatically improved reasoning ability scores:

View Mackey Study (PDF)

For us at ThinkFun the question no longer is “Is this possible?”.  Rather, it is “How can we make these programs better and more effective?”




To be successful creating these programs you must know something about Gamification… so do your research.  

For our purposes, gamification means that you must dress up your game into a purposeful program that actually could be used by a youth organization to organize and play with their kids.  The program can be simple or have lots of bells and whistles… what is essential is that you provide an explicit context for the type of customer who would want your program, and that you design the overall program to fit their needs so they could use it if they wanted it.


Gamification Examples:


What Does the Research Say?

We have collected the important recent papers and books on the broader topic of reasoning ability and game playing, find this here.


The Big Leap Challenge

Our primary purpose to champion this Big Leap Challenge is to bring to better awareness the many different audiences who are in need of creative organized fun smart play programs that really work, and the different play situations that are ripe for creative new thinking.  We plan to find these communities and bring new opportunities and new needs to light as we go.  These include…

  • Playgrounds 
  • School recess period
  • Down-time during already organized youth activities
  • Family night at home or school

Our secondary purpose is to identify as many different creative communities as possible, to make contact with them and to put out our challenge as broadly among them as we can.  There is a whole lot to be learned here… and we want to kick start this process. 

Our third purpose is to organize a community of experts to help develop an assessment methodology and feedback process so that we can gain an increasingly better understanding of what is truly effective.

Stay tuned!  We will be posting updates throughout the next few weeks and months.  This is big!

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