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World of Warcraft Improves Cognitive Ability for Older Adults

Researchers at North Carolina State University (NCSU) found that at least for some older adults, World of Warcraft (WoW) has benefits beyond the simple entertainment of the game, but will help them to improve their cognitive functioning as well. According to the study, one hour of WoW per day over the course of two weeks resulted in notable cognitive improvement.

However, the test also showed that the improvement strongly depends on the baseline of cognitive functioning. Those players with the most room for improvement saw their scores jump much greater than those who had a well-trained cognitive ability already.

“Among participants who scored well on baseline cognitive functioning tests, there was no significant improvement after playing WoW – they were already doing great,” said Anne McLaughlin, an assistant professor of psychology at NC State and co-author of a paper on the study. “But we saw significant improvement in both spatial ability and focus for participants who scored low on the initial baseline tests.”

Pre- and post-game testing showed no change for participants on memory performance.

The researchers said that they chose WoW for their study because they believed the game had the potential of "producing benefits" as it is seen as a "cognitively challenging game in a socially interactive environment that presents users with novel situations."

  • nforce4max
    Now some of you know why I still play the game. 7 accounts worth lol.
    Reply
  • castle songbird
    I'd like to see these tests compared against Portal 2 co op
    Reply
  • Supermuncher85
    I say bull. Nothing but hawthorne effect here.
    Reply
  • synd
    castle songbirdI'd like to see these tests compared against Portal 2 co opThe only problem is that Portal 2 co-op is only 5hrs of gameplay while WoW can be played even 300hrs and you can still have things to do
    Reply
  • freggo
    Kinda like tuning a Chevy vs. trying to get some more speed out of a Ferrari Enzo.
    If course it's easier to improve on those with lousy basic performance.
    Now go and research something that common sense does not answer :-)
    Reply
  • Ragnar-Kon
    More or less common sense. It is well known that if you keep your mind busy solving problems and learning new things, your cognitive ability will improve. WoW is nothing more than a giant problem in this case.
    nforce4maxNow some of you know why I still play the game. 7 accounts worth lol.$105/month?! I can understand one account easily, I can also understand 2 accounts. If I stretch it a bit, I can even comprehend three accounts. But 7 accounts?

    I think its about time you find something else to do with your time and money.
    Reply
  • castle songbird
    syndThe only problem is that Portal 2 co-op is only 5hrs of gameplay while WoW can be played even 300hrs and you can still have things to do


    ...mods
    Reply
  • del35
    Sounds great. You can also achieve cognitive improvement by reading regularly, or listening to really good music, and let us not forget engaging in frequent good conversation with friends. All these improve cognitive abilities.
    Reply
  • thehidecheck
    lol @ the thumbs up/down. Wonder who did that(only 1 comment with thumbs up XD)?
    Reply
  • billybobser
    syndThe only problem is that Portal 2 co-op is only 5hrs of gameplay while WoW can be played even 300hrs and you can still have things to do
    The gameplay wildly varies on portal 2, but on wow, you'll be doing the same thing over and over and over while a graphically different enemy with essentially the same abilities will extend your 'gameplay'

    The only varied gameplay you will find is in PvP, but that is a complete mess and is very repetitive at lower ranks.
    Reply