Games that challenge or help you develop your multi-tasking capabilities

Are there any? Seriously now, I’d like to know. When I think of brain-training games I think of software focused on honing your hand-eye reaction times and puzzlers that make you sometimes think outside of the box, but where are the games that’ll help me type this post and completely process everything Mark MacDonald is saying on the podcast I’m listening to at the same time? I realize that’s can be quite a challenge for developers because of the hardware games are played on, but I’d love to know if there are any at all.


I’m surprised you don’t think video games in general help you do this. Maybe try playing top-down shooters or Geometry Wars or something :). Anyway, don’t listen to Mark; listen to Shane!

Practice. Start by watching TV while you’re working with heavy machinery. It’ll hone your skills rather quickly.

I would think about any RTS would help your multitasking skills quite a bit.

Smoking while you talk on the cell phone while playing Forza?

Guild Wars was great at that, if you were a leader; you had to watch sixteen players, occasionally also NPCs, all the while playing your role, strategising, and calling tactics.

Fun times.

WoW is like that too. You have to watch the health bars for all the tanks, but also keep an eye on the rest of the raid. Not to mention keeping an eye on mana and cooldowns for abilities and items, your placement relative to the boss or adds, and other situational awareness. While this sounds simple, it’s not easy to do while also watching Heroes and eating popcorn. Trust me … just not that easy. Fortunately they have the little loot window pop ups that grab my attention when the boss actually dies.

I always do about ten things at once while playing WoW:

Voice chat, guild chat, IRC, thottbot/other game resources, general web surfing, talking to my wife.

Oh, and playing the game.

Yep I forgot voice and channel chat. Thottbot sometimes as well.

Why is hardware an obstacle in designing something like this? Are you promoting a new console or something?

I would definitly say an solid RTS would challenge your multi-tasking abilities, especially one that required continious economic management as well as tactical (but not micro) battle management. C&C 3 and SupCom come to mind, although I think SupCom would be the better choice.

You could try playing both characters in a local co-op session of Gears of War.

Outpost Kaloki X or Diner Dash? They’re all about managing different streams of info & sequencing/timing events.

I think Supcom is probably the biggest multi task rts I’ve played so far. Try playing Starcraft on the fastest speed against some random people as well.

Multitasking: It’s a trap!

Sure it’s better than just waiting around during downtime, but otherwise multitasking is less efficient (and more stressful) than focusing on a single task.

Do a search for “multitasking” and “research” for more information.

  • Alan

Plus I’m not sure multitasking is really a general skill you can learn. Sure, you can learn to do certain tasks at the same time, but I don’t think that would help you do other things at the same time.

Then move up to driving your car on a freeway while text messaging on your phone.

  1. Run a raid in an MMRPG with at least 12 people while talking with your girlfriend on the phone. Then open a second box and try to 2box a healer cause they don’t have enough.

  2. Pretend to work while browsing in 1/4-2-3

Honestly, I think it’s the reverse of what should be done. The best tip I’ve seen when trying to run a raid is find those vocal people. you know, the ones that don’t shut up. Give them a job. Make them responsible for getting person #11 to the raid spot, or to recruit that second healer, or etc.

I hate “web voice”. Either I talk on the phone, watch TV, or play a game. Music may be the one exception of additional stimuli I can handle. Hey, maybe I can self-diagnose for asperge’s too!

More phone ranting: If you can’t talk keep it bloody short. Nothing is more annoying that hearing someone for 20 minutes while the wind keeps blowing through their headset. “Listen, I’ll call you back when you can talk”. There’s people who can’t be alone a single moment and have to fill their waking idles with idle chatting. If I’m gonna bullshit I’ll do it over drinks with the guys.

Two boxing in almost any MMO. But I suspect that’s cheating.