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Study: Playing Angry Birds Might Make You Smarter

Angry Birds
Tim Whitby/Getty Images

Thanks to computers, tablets, and smartphones, there are more and more ways for us to waste our time these days.  Nothing says ‘I’m slacking off’ like a game or two, or 12, of Angry Birds.  There really seems to be no point to that video game fad, but man is it addicting!

At first you’re just content to sling a few birds any which way and really don’t care if you’re ‘winning’.  But after a few minutes you start to pick up on the ‘strategy’ of the game and then you begin to plot your moves with more accuracy in mind.  It’s at that point that researchers say you’re no longer just wasting your time.

A recent study in the Harvard Business Review suggests that engaging in some activities we think of as non-productive — like Angry Birds — may give you an edge at work. How?

One researcher says playing games make people better problem solvers, more collaborative, and less likely to give up.


One expert with the study says she has made it a personal goal to ‘waste’ four minutes per hour playing games.

Two thoughts:

1) Somehow I don’t think I can convince my bosses that my Angry Birds time every hour is helping my job performance.

2) Who can stop at just four minutes?  If you can then we should add ‘improved self control’ to the list of benefits!

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