Can you map game challenges to Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences?

That’s the case made by Chad Kilgore, a designer at Day 1 Studios, today at Gamasutra. Gardner hypothesized that human intelligence was not reducible to single metrics like IQ; rather, our intelligence is multiple and broad, spanning seven categories: spatial, linguistic mathematical-logical, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal. Kilgore argues that different game challenges map to each category; so, for example, the complex puzzles of Myst test mathematical-logical, while the fast-twitch action of Quake tests bodily-kinesthetic. Kilgore adds,

Keep in mind that there are numerous archetypal challenges that were not specifically cited (e.g. mazes, riddles, Rube Goldberg machines, physics puzzles). Regardless, they can still be understood in this taxonomy. Also note that a challenge is not necessarily limited to a single category; it may involve multiple intelligences. For example, while running and jumping across a chasm in Prince of Persia does involve fine-motor skills, it also involves understanding and judgment of space.