Brain Boost: Video Games for the 60+ Crowd

Brain Boost: Video Games for the 60+ Crowd

Okay, this is too fun to not report on. As the value of video games debate rages on from age-appropriateness, to content rating, to social skills impact… Parents are often very concerned about their young ones spending time at the gaming console.


But for a recent study published by the science journal Nature, the gaming audience was shifted… to those aged 60 and older. Creating a game that’s engaging and compelling for a generation that wasn’t raised on computers was interesting and challenging for the brain scientists at the University of California, San Francisco.


Brain scientists, you say? Yes, this study wasn’t done to measure entertainment, but rather to measure brain maintenance and improvement.


As it turns out, age doesn’t just bring wisdom but the occasional “senior moment” when you can’t remember what you just opened the refrigerator door to get. To reconcile that problem and others like a decline in the ability to multi-task, brain exercises were introduced in the form of gaming. As it turns out, the effects have been positive. Brain strength went up with the ever-increasing gaming challenges… and the young at heart had a good time too.


But as this post by NPR points out – gaming isn’t the only way to a better brain. Physical exercise and other forms of mental stimulation have been shown to have great effects as well. So just as you should at any age, have fun, elevate your heart rate on a regular basis and perhaps keep picking up some good books while you’re at it.


Though the next time the kids are fighting over the Xbox controllers, just give them to Grandma. Problem solved.




Image Credit: Xbox by Sheryl’s Boys via Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic

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