Turns out a little time with “World of Warcraft” each week might be beneficial, especially for the elderly. A recent study done by the Gains Through Gaming laboratory in the Department of Psychology at North Carolina State University found that the incredibly popular online game has the potential of helping older adults with their cognitive functioning.
The study included 60-77 year olds who played “World of Warcraft” at home for about 14 hours over the course of 2 weeks. “World of Warcraft” was chosen specifically because it is both cognitively challenging and socially interactive, and presents the players with novel situations, according to the researchers. After the 2 week period, tests showed improvement in focus and spatial ability as well as overall cognitive functioning. Obviously, results varied depending on the individual. There was no improvement for participants with sharpening memory.
Gaming fans have been been looking for validation for ages, so this is a win for them. It might be a great way for grandparents and grandkids to spend a little quality time together, too.