World Of Warcraft Helps Older People With Cognitive Skills, Study Says

Playing 'World Of Warcraft' Good For Older People

"World of Warcraft" isn't just for nerds and Mr. T -- it's also great for older folks.

TG Daily and other outlets have discovered a study in the journal Computers in Human Behavior that found older adults who played the online game saw their cognitive skills improve.

Researchers split 39 men and women between the ages of 60 and 77 into two groups. One group played "World of Warcraft" and the other didn't. Compared to the control group, some who played the game showed improved focus and spatial orientation.

The difference was especially clear amongst those who scored poorly before playing the game.

"We chose World of Warcraft because it has attributes we felt may produce benefits - it is a cognitively challenging game in a socially interactive environment that presents users with novel situations," Dr. Anne McLaughlin, an assistant professor of psychology at North Carolina State and co-author of a paper on the study told TG Daily.

Unfortunately, Health News Daily notes that playing "World of Warcraft" didn't seem to help participants' memory.

This isn't the first time gaming has seemed to help older people. According to a survey by Saga, one in 25 people over the age of 50 play Nintendo's Wii Fit game, which could provide some fitness benefits (though the researchers from Michigan State University point out that the benefits are not as great as a traditional workout.)

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