Shute et al. (2015 Comput & Educ) compared undergraduate subjects who were randomly assigned to play either Valve’s Portal 2 video game or Lumosity for eight hours. Those who had played Portal 2 showed significantly higher pre- vs. post-test gains on measures of problem solving, spatial skills and persistence than Lumosity players, who showed no significant gains on any of these measures (compared to Portal 2 players, who showed significant gains on the spatial tests).
Something to note about the study is that the sample size of 77 was fairly small and in the time frame of 8 hours, one complete a majority of the Portal 2 as opposed to Lumosity games. In addition, Lumosity claims that it works over a long period of time with its collection of minigames. It would be interesting to see future studies in this area.
See also the review by Philippa Warr in Rock, Paper, Shotgun, which mentions an educational application of Portal, Teach With Portals, that aims to teach students physics and critical thinking skills.
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This post was written by Syngli