Yet Another Reason To Game Harder


We tend to lose some mental ability as we get older. Forgetfulness is common, but things like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are more serious. But gamers – – – you’ve got a major leg up.

Researchers conducted an experiment tracking brain function of elderly people before and after 12 weeks of physically active video games. Their results show that games that get you up and moving improve cognitive functioning more than physical activity alone.

The author of the study, Joseph Firth, says, “Various neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, mild cognitive impairment, and dementia can also impede people’s cognitive functioning and reduce their ability to function day to day.”

“Physically-active video games have, according to our research, greater impact on brain functioning than regular physical activity alone — suggesting that their benefits are more than just moving around.”

brain diminishes with age
Image courtesy of geralt via Pixabay

In other words, when we get older our brain functioning declines. Being active helps, but physically active video games help more. In fact, similar studies have shown active games improve pain tolerance, balance, and fear of falling. Makes sense really – exercise is good, but exercising your brain and body together is better. This study seems to support the old saying ‘use it or lose it’.

So what does this mean for you?

It means you should play more Wii, Xbox Kinect, and virtual reality games instead of sitting on your butt all day playing regular games. You should also continue playing those games throughout your life, even when you’re old and grey. Not such a bad prescription, right?

And consider getting grandma a gaming system for Christmas – it’ll do her some good.

I imagine physically active games will become more common, so more people will get on board. Pokemon Go is just the beginning. VR and AR will make it easier for people to stay active, engage their brains, and enjoy their favorite games at the same time.

With that, I’m gonna research a VR headset to invest in (because science says so). If you know any good games that’ll keep me active, let me know in the comments below.



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