According to a report on the U.S. Department of Defense site
(recounting an ONR Pentagon Web Radio webcast), the Office of Naval Research has concluded that video game players may be an effective tool in the war against terrorism:
The conclusion is that video gamers show improved "fluid intelligence" – the ability to adapt to unforeseen circumstances and solve novel problems. The ONR has found that "video game players perform 10 to 20 percent higher in terms of perceptual and cognitive ability than normal people that are non-game players." The ONR also found that the cognitive benefits of playing video games can last more than two years.
Specifically, the ONR suggested improved fluid intelligence improves the performance of, say, soldiers pursuing terrorists into a cave, forced to deal with unknown and unforeseeable circumstances.
The ONR is looking both to understand the neural mechanisms behind these improvements and to integrate video games into training for military personnel.