For all those gamers who have had to sit through parental rants claiming that video games will lead to their brains atrophying, help is now on the way thanks primarily to a study in the journal Psychology and Aging.
This study (based on a sample size of 40 adults in their 60s and 70s) came to this interesting conclusion: older individuals may actually benefit from playing video games, at least strategy-intensive games.
This deduction was arrived at after observing the actions of those older adults playing Rise of Nations. According to one of the researchers, these adults “significantly improved their scores on a number of tests of cognitive functions.” The researcher also mentioned that it is actually beneficial for older adults to play video games with their younger contemporaries.
However, while the results of these studies do signal a positive direction for video game perception, it is important to note that these findings are the first of their kind and that, of course, additional research is needed to support their hypothesis.
These researchers are on to something though, considering reports that more and more older adults are catching on to the video game craze, ,proving that it is not an activity that has to be restrained to younger individuals.
Hopefully, as our generation ages, video games will be regarded on the same levels of mental simulation as more traditional fare such as crossword puzzles, bridge, enjoying the arts and Sudoku. After all, each of these tasks all work towards the same goal: making sure your mind remains sharp.
Remember that, as they say, the brain is a muscle like any other part of the body, so if you don’t use it, you lose it.