At some point in your adult life you will come to accept that school in fact did teach you something. While 3rd grade math is useful when calculating out the best deals at your local dispensary, your GameCube is a much likelier reason why you’ve grown up to be the clever bastard you are today.

Contrary to the popular opinion of “once an idiot always an idiot”, a study conducted by experts at the Queen Mary University of London found that human intelligence is a trait that we can improve and train over time. One of the tools they identified as having a massive role developing mental skills was, believe it or not, video games.

Cognitive flexibility is the fancy pants term that researchers use to describe what makes someone intelligent. Not Straight-As or good memory, but the ability to adjust reactions and behavior depending on your environment and desired outcomes are the most important factors that contribute to IQ.

"Our paper shows that cognitive flexibility, a cornerstone of human intelligence, is not a static trait but can be trained and improved using fun learning tools like gaming."

The reason why gaming plays such an important role in developing cognitive flexibility is that it creates a virtual environment and system of logic that, although you may not realize it, you need to dive into and learn to succeed and ‘level up’. In this experiment, the more complicated the games a subject would play were, the better they performed in the psychological tests that followed.

It’s not only kiddie games that are becoming more intricate, but this concept has also been applied to adult gaming industries, even gambling. If you’ve ever played any of these online slots you’d notice that weird bonus rounds and extra levels have been added to engage players, and that even the simplest of slots is now complex enough that playing will help make you less of a moron per recent studies.

Getting back to the youth; while going outside to play and interact expands children’s ability to engage with their environment, so does the act of diving into a new world to achieve artificial objectives via Xbox. Now comes the next mom argument; that playing inside means you won’t be able to make any friends. Contrary to the popular portrayal of gamers as socially awkward basement dwellers, research shows that the more you game, the more social you’d likely end up being.

The School Mental health Europe project was another study that disproved the “Go and play outside” rhetoric that pre-tech era parents spouted. Their test subjects were kids between 6 and 11, and the researchers concluded that the children who played the most games had less relationship issues and were 1.75 times more likely to show high intellectual functioning.

So, next time your parents praise whatever half-assed achievement you’re bragging about you can let them know that it was your persistence ignoring them all those year that took you so far down the road to success.