When people envision a World of Warcraft player, they likely envision some pale guy hunched over a keyboard in his parent’s basement, but they may have to start picturing their own parents and grandparents, according to new research. From North Carolina State University comes a study investigating the benefits for older adults with age related cognitive impairment that come from playing WoW. Such impairment can effect memory, focus, and spatial abilities.
The researchers had a group of older adults, aged 60-77 years old, take a standard cognitive abilities test before starting a two week regiment of WoW gameplay, with an average of one hour a day. At the end of the two weeks the players and a control group also tested earlier were retested, with some interesting results. Those in the experimental group who had little impairment to begin with saw no appreciable increase in abilities. However, those who were impaired saw significant improvements, and the more impaired the person was, the greater the improvement.