yes, halo can make you smarter.  retweeting-to-blog boston globe article courtesy of guy kawasaki:

Buy your kids Halo if you want them to be surgeons:

relevant excerpts below.

Researchers gathering in Boston for the American Psychological Association convention detailed studies suggesting video games can be powerful learning tools – from increasing the problem-solving potential of younger students to improving the suturing skills of laparoscopic surgeons.

One study even looked at whether playing “World of Warcraft,” the world’s biggest multiplayer online game, can improve scientific thinking.

The conclusion? Certain types of video games can have benefits beyond the virtual thrills of blowing up demons or shooting aliens.

In one study of 33 laparoscopic surgeons, researchers found that those who played video games were 27 percent faster at advanced surgical procedures and made 37 percent fewer errors than those who didn’t. Advanced video game skills were also a good way to predict suturing capabilities.

A second study looking at 303 laparoscopic surgeons found that those who played video games requiring spatial skills and hand dexterity performed better at those skills when tested later compared with surgeons who didn’t play videos.

“The single best predictor of their skills is how much they had played video games in the past and how much they played now. Those were better predictors of surgical skills than years of training and number of surgeries performed,” Gentile said. “So the first question you might ask your surgeon is how many of these [surgeries] have you done and the second question is, ‘Are you a gamer?’ ”

Some video games even appear to sharpen scientific thinking skills. Researchers looked at 2,000 discussion posts about “World of Warcraft” to see what the players were talking about. The study found the game encouraged scientific thinking, like using systems and models for understanding situations, and using math and testing to investigate a problem.