Study – World of Warcraft helps improve cognitive function among the elderly

By Brenna Hillier
23 February 2012 03:15 GMT

A North Carolina State University study has found World of Warcraft can help improve spatial awareness and attention levels in elderly players.

The study checked the cognitive function of two groups of volunteers aged between 60 and 77.

One group was sent off to play around 14 hours of World of Warcraft over two weeks, while the other served as a control.

Although those who’d scored highly on initial tests showed no change, a marked improvement was noted in those who’d struggled with testing.

“Among participants who scored well on baseline cognitive functioning tests, there was no significant improvement after playing WoW – they were already doing great,” assistant professer Anne Collins McLaughlin said.

“But we saw significant improvement in both spatial ability and focus for participants who scored low on the initial baseline tests.”

World of Warcraft was chosen for its “cognitively challenging” gameplay and “socially interactive environment that presents users with novel situations”.

Earlier this week, a report claimed shooters could help in improving the eyesight of those with impaired vision.

Thanks, Gamasutra.

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