Video Games

The Complex and Surprising World of StarCraft

The real-time strategy game, which first lit up screens in 1998, is much more than an ongoing brawl between alien species. Explore the world of Starcraft, the esports industry, and the influence that gaming has on our brains.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. A study showed that playing Starcraft improved participants' ability to quickly adapt, switch tasks, and think about multiple ideas at once. 00:41

  2. Compared to a non-gaming control group, Super Mario 64 players showed an increase in grey cells. 04:34

  3. Playing 12 hours of an action video game did more for the reading skills of dyslexic children than a whole year of traditional reading treatments. 05:21

Key Facts In This Video

  1. APM stands for "actions per minute," and measures the speed at which a player can execute actions or commands in a game. 00:30

  2. Players who want to compete in certain real-time strategy games train hard to increase their APM, sometimes supporting their wrists with sandbags. 01:00

  3. Watch gamers with high APM ratings play: 01:39

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Expert-level StarCraft gameplay is exceedingly complex, presenting players with a large strategy space that has no dominant strategy. 00:35

  2. 28 teams submitted bots to play in the first AIIDE StarCraft AI Competition. 02:20

  3. The winner of the first AIIDE StarCraft AI Competition was a bot called Overmind from UC Berkeley. 03:30

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Real-time strategy games such as StarCraft 2 require you to manage resources, build bases, and control armies, all while defending yourself against your opponent. 01:30

  2. More than 20,000 people attended the StarCraft 2 Global Finals in 2012. 02:27

  3. In 2013, around 38 million people watched internet gaming and esports broadcasts every month. 03:42

Key Facts In This Video

  1. The instinct to play is the most basic, innate way for humans to want to learn. 00:56

  2. Some believe a way to revamp the education system in the United States is to make sure that the personal desire for knowledge is a stronger motivator than the fear of punishment. 03:43

  3. Reality Ends Here is the name of a filmmaking game run at USC to help cinema studios launch students into creating. 04:14

Written by Curiosity Staff January 15, 2016

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