These guys could actually make you smarter.
According to a new study conducted by cognitive scientists at the University of California, your mom was totally wrong about the whole “video games rot your brain” thing. In fact, it would probably do her some good to pick up a controller herself.
And it’s not just games that make iffy-sounding claims about “training your brain” that are beneficial – this latest study has found that pretty much any game that requires a lot of multitasking can make a brain think younger…
Basically, the scientists at UC created their own simple video game in which you have to drive a car while paying attention to certain signs that pop up on screen. Initially younger players in their 20s did better than players in their 70s or 80s, but with a bit of training the codgers became just as good at the game as the kids. In fact, most actually became better at the game than your average 20-year-old playing it for the first time.
Even more interesting, these old people continued to “think young” and function at a higher cognitive level even after the game was shut off. The effects of mastering the game also lasted for a long time – up to six months.
Oh, and video games aren’t just good for dusty old-person brains either. Another study has shown that multitasking-heavy video games can also help young people ignore distractions and learn.
So wait, a game where you drive a car while also paying attention to roadside distractions improves brain function? Roadside distractions like oh, I dunno, screaming pedestrians, cops and health-restoring hookers? Well, I don’t see any way around it – now that we have this new information it would be a crime against brains to not install Grand Theft Auto V in every old folks home and school in America.
via The New York Times