I’ve always wondered whether the kind of video games you like (or whether you like video games at all) tells you about what kind of person you are. Early arcade games were built around reflexes, patterns, and a relatively limited set of moves, attracting the kind of guys featured in King of Kong. My older brother is pretty good at sports, but unbelievably good at any kind of sports game, even ones he hasn’t played before — even sports he hasn’t played before. Some people’s brains just seem to be wired for certain kinds of games. Me, I’m good at a lot of video games, but I really like Minesweeper, Final Fantasy II, and Wii Tennis.
Clive Thompson writes a little bit about the relationship between the brain and video games in his review of Mirror’s Edge, a new first-person video game that (Thompson says) uniquely leverages human neurology — specifically our sense of proprioception, “your body’s sense of its own physicality”:
Most first-person shooters do not create any sense of proprioception. You may be looking out the eyes of your character, but you don’t have a good sense of the dimensions of the rest of your virtual body