Video games are no longer created for younger generations; they can help improve cognitive brain functions in the older adults as well. New research shows that playing the video game World of War Craft, also known as WoW, can help improve cognitive performance.
In this video game, players develop their strategy at their own pace, so there is no feeling of being left behind or speeding through levels of a game. WoW is a complex game in which novice players can feel challenged, but not overwhelmed. Experienced players can find themselves continually challenged, even after hundreds of hours of playing time. The social interaction aspect of WoW is unique and a great way for older adults to connect with individuals while improving brain performance and having fun at the same time.
Researchers from North Carolina’s Gains Through Gaming Laboratory did a study in which they tested the impact that Wow gaming had on cognitive performance in the seniors. The study consisted of two groups of volunteers between the ages of 60 and 77. One group played the game for one hour a day for two weeks and the control group did not. Initially, both groups were tested to see if there would be any improvements after the two weeks. As a whole, the group that played the video game for one hour a day had an increase in cognitive performance over the control group.
So next time you’re grandchildren come to visit and are playing video games, don’t be afraid to pick up a controller and ask how to play!