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Videogaming Keeps the Brain From Aging 255

Posted by Zonk
from the i-shall-live-forever! dept.
Ant wrote to mention a Globe and Mail article stating that videogames keep the mind young and help in quick focusing on different tasks. "A body of research suggests that playing video games provides benefits similar to bilingualism in exercising the mind. Just as people fluent in two languages learn to suppress one language while speaking the other, so too are gamers adept at shutting out distractions to swiftly switch attention between different tasks. A new study of 100 university undergraduates in Toronto has found that video gamers consistently outperform their non-playing peers in a series of tricky mental tests. If they also happened to be bilingual, they were unbeatable."
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Videogaming Keeps the Brain From Aging

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  • Awesome (Score:5, Funny)

    by MillionthMonkey (240664) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @03:52AM (#14698733)
    Do you know what this means? The "Hot Coffee Scene" is good for you!
  • No camping! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 12, 2006 @03:53AM (#14698737)
    Just as people fluent in two languages learn to suppress one language while speaking the other, so too are gamers adept at shutting out distractions to swiftly switch attention between different tas--

    Yeah, whatever. Dude!! Check out this score! w00t!

    Now.. what were you saying?
  • by geoffrobinson (109879) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @03:55AM (#14698741) Homepage
    Plenty of complaints about immature guys have been heard over the years.
  • It's True (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lehk228 (705449) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @03:55AM (#14698742) Journal
    You can prove it yourself just go on any counterstrike server even the adults act like thay are 12 years old
    • Yeah, but most people who play counterstrike *are* 12 years old. Other games, with more restrictive rules are much more civilized.
  • Or Maybe... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slarrg (931336) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @03:55AM (#14698744)
    People who are capable of changing tasks quickly enjoy playing videogames.
    • Re:Or Maybe... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ScrewMaster (602015)
      I think they have it backwards. The GAME is the task, one that requires the ability concentrate, to focus on a single task. Multitasking has nothing to do with it: most good multitaskers I know absolutely SUCK at video games. Extreme singletasking is what is going on here. Personally, I'm a terrible multitasker ... as a software engineer I perfer to sit at my computer undisturbed for as long as necessary to solve whatever problem is at hand. Conversely, asking me to cook a complicated meal that requires kee
      • Dude, Starcraft. Total multitasking game there.
      • Someone recently referred to raid healing in WoW as "health-bar whack-a-mole". You spend several hours staring intently at one small section of your screen, clicking a mouse button in response to changing colours. and they wonder why healers go a little crazy with the DPS occasionally.

      • It depends; all you've mentioned are FPSes. Now I'll readily admit that there's not much you have to worry about in an FPS than just owning people... but look at almost any MMORPG, RTS, etc... you've got to watch your health, mana/energy, funds, bandages/potions, etc, all while killing and looting mobs, AND while dealing with chat (sometimes voice chat as well as in game). And in an RTS, if you can't multitask, you might be able to win the one battle you're looking at, but then when you go back to your base
    • Exactly! I think the reason I avoid most video games is that I find them too difficult to enjoy.
  • I rule! (Score:4, Funny)

    by lastberserker (465707) <{babanov} {at} {earthlink.net}> on Sunday February 12, 2006 @03:58AM (#14698749) Homepage Journal
    I'm bilingual (2 1/4 to be correct) gamer, so $subj :-)
    • Bah. I'm trilingual (3 1/2 actually if I count as you do, I only really count the languages I'm fluent in). And I play video games, too... ;-)
      • Re:I rule! (Score:4, Funny)

        by struppi (576767) <`ten.fpuhlgug' `ta' `ippurts'> on Sunday February 12, 2006 @08:42AM (#14699357) Homepage
        Let's see... Java, C++, German, English - makes 4
        • If you insist on counting like that you already lost... Swedish, English, German, Spanish, and the ones in the category you counted but I didn't: Object Pascal (Delphi), Java, 6809 Assembly, Omron Ladder, Omron Mnemonics, C, C++, Ada, C#, Matlab, AutoMod simulation language and last but not least, a little bit of basic VHDL...
        • Bi"lingual" requires that the languages included be spoken languages. Computer languages don't count. If they did count computer languages, i'm sure most competent computer programmers would know about 10 languages, and would be able to figure out the rest of them after sitting down with a bunch of code and a manual for a couple weeks or less.
          • #include <stdio.h>

            int main(void)
            {
                printf("You don't speak in computer language? What are you doing on Slashdot?");

                return 0;
            }
          • If they did count computer languages, i'm sure most competent computer programmers would know about 10 languages, and would be able to figure out the rest of them after sitting down with a bunch of code and a manual for a couple weeks or less.

            10? That seems kind of high for the average programmer with an average amount of experience. Is that with true fluency or just passing knowledge?

            With passing knowledge, I can learn one in a day. With fluency, some would take months depending on the size of the langu

            • Learning the language itself usually doens't take more than a day. Learning the libraries, api, and frameworks that go with a languages however take much longer.
  • Ahaaa! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 12, 2006 @03:59AM (#14698750)
    I knew I should keep playing video games all night instead of studying...I'm keeping myself alive longer, so I can study more!
  • Exercise (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MichaelSmith (789609) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @04:00AM (#14698755) Homepage Journal
    "The [video game players] are much harder to mislead, to trick," Prof. Bialystok said.

    Well OK, games are often about solving problems and getting around situations which try to trick you.

    I think real world exercises would be of equal benefit, assuming that the exposure is broad enough, but this at least confirms that simulations are a good way of training people, which has been understood in aerospace since the 1960's.

    • I think real world exercises would be of equal benefit, assuming that the exposure is broad enough


      Yes, but why would anyone work so hard on real world exercises?

    • Well OK, games are often about solving problems and getting around situations which try to trick you.

      What world do you live in? 99% of the game playing that takes place today consists of:
      1) Training control combinations to master combat
      2) Searching forums for answers when you have to think
      3) Hitting on hairy fat guys pretending to be chicks
  • by etheriel (620275) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @04:04AM (#14698762)
    weird. i'm bilingual, and i play videogames pretty often, but i have a lot of difficulty filtering out distractions.
    • I'm trilingual and it's even worse for me. I call for a recount. It's just so surprising to me that--

      Oooh, a bird!
    • I have ADD, I have a terrible time focusing my attention, but when I do, it locks on harder than a bell hop at a bunny club. In any case, I tend to play games for the exact reason that they give me something to focus on. Gaming really helps me to relax at the end of the day and gives me a bit of a break from the maelstrom of conflicting signals we encounter throughout our day to day lives. I'm guessing that I'm not the only one, and that many people with concentration issues are drawn to gaming as a kind of

  • Now this study comes out...my whole life friends, family, and significant others thought I suffered from ADHD when really I'm just...
  • by Mancat (831487) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @04:08AM (#14698773) Homepage
    i playd vidoe games all way thru hi scooll, and i faled a lota clases, and my parents kiked me out of home, but now even in my old age of 32 i feel yung @ haeart. so... i think they r ryte.. i thank vid. games for ervrything i have.. my gf i met on hallo xbox online, my dog (but ive been layuing lots of vid. games lately and i dont know hwhere he is), and my fun job @ teh bowling allie.

    long liv vid. gamnes!@ keeping us yung 4 ever!
  • by prakslash (681585) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @04:09AM (#14698776)

    To stay young, play:

    Halo: El Combate Ha Evolucionado

  • Actually... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by l3prador (700532) <wkankla@gmaTOKYOil.com minus city> on Sunday February 12, 2006 @04:12AM (#14698783) Homepage
    Prof. Bialystok first noticed bilingual children were proficient in blocking out irrelevant information about 20 years ago. When asked to identify a grammatically correct sentence, for example, both bilinguals and monolinguals are, by age 5, able to choose, "Apples grow on trees," over "Apple trees on grow" as the correct one. But when it came to asking "Apples grow on noses" versus "Apples nose on grow," only the bilingual children were able to choose the right answer. Although the first sentence is grammatically correct, monolingual children could not get over its silliness. "That's crazy," they'd shout, "You can't say that!"

    Maybe this is good, maybe not. If this is training people to move on and solve the problem, even though they understand that there is a problem with the validity of the sentence, then it is a good thing. On the other hand, if they are able to do better because don't even notice the problem, then maybe it's not so good. I've seen plenty of times where everyone's so focused on solving a problem that they don't realize they're solving the wrong problem.
    • Re:Actually... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by LordLucless (582312) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @05:22AM (#14698945)
      I think it's because when you know only one language, it's hard to actually figure out what grammar is. When you learn to speak, you don't learn vocabulary, grammar and enunciation separately. You learn them all mixed together.

      When you learn a second language, you are able to more easily identify the structural components of language (ie: grammar) when comparing the two side-by-side. A monolinguist will be more likely to assume that the grammar of his language is universal; a polylinguist will understand that grammar is subordinate to language.
      • I've been bi-lingual since the age of 5, and my grammar sucks. I know my grammar is bad, because now I'm learning a 3rd language (Arabic) there are a whole bunch of grammar terms that I don't know. I think learning a language as a kid allows you to pick up grammar implicitly, that is, you don't need to be able to articulate what the grammatical rules of a language are. This is how you do sentences in this language, this is how that language does it. Kind of. But once you learn languages as an adult, you're
        • That's sort of what I was saying. You may not know what an adverb is, but you understand the concept of one, because you have seen examples of them in the languages you have learnt. Learning two languages won't give you an understanding of grammar jargon, but if taught grammar, you'll pick it up quicker than a monolinguist because you already know the concepts, you just need to assosciate concept to name. A monolinguist, however, would probably need to be taught both concept and name.

          I'm a monolinguist wh
    • Had the question been more ambigous, like, "Which of these sentences is correct?" without defining what "correct" meant, then you would have a point; but it hasn't and you don't (yet). The candidates were given a clearly defined problem "Which of these sentences is gramatically correct", where the researchers' goal was to find out who becomes distracted by something unrelated to the experiment. The silliness of the sentence was probabl just one of many ways how they could've done it.

      Your point might still
    • I suspect it's just that, actually. We gamers are used to solving the wrong problem (by RL standards) in the right way, or for that matter working with rules and problems that make no sense whatsoever by RL standards. We've got over two decades of experience saying that such stuff is just _normal_, if the game says so:

      - that wolves, or for that matter insects, carry coins or pieces of armour, or that you can get a 6 ft two-handed sword as loot on a 1 ft rabbit

      - but, conversely, things you'd expect each of t
  • I play games and speak three languages...
    Does this mean my brain has started regressing and soon I will have the mental age of 5.
  • by killdashnine (651759) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @04:28AM (#14698822) Homepage

    I personally play a ton of video games still in my mid-thirties and support this wholeheartedly. The thing about video games, to me, is that they constantly challenge your mind.

    I remember a gentlemene that was in his seventies telling me once that he kept mentally spry simply by reading, doing puzzles, and the like. He said that most adults are effectively senile early on because they quit reading and generally idle in front of TV. TV bores me; it doesn't challenge you to do much of anything except look, so I'd imagine that ANYONE who plays any kind of games requiring use of their brain would be a step up on people who don't.

    Anyway ... I play to be playing games until I can't see and hear them anymore. Hopefully in my old age we'll have decent VR and can simply "plug in" ;)

  • It would not surprise me if playing video games was a good mental exercise for gamers. But surely there is selection going on as well. Gamers have a talent that makes them good at the "tricky mental tests".

    I see this sort of thing all the time. A week or so ago, there was an article in the (Canadian) Globe and Mail about some study that indicated that shorter people live longer than taller people by (as I recall) 1.5 years per inch. I assume that this is at least partly genetic characteristices that,

    • It would not surprise me if playing video games was a good mental exercise for gamers. But surely there is selection going on as well. Gamers have a talent that makes them good at the "tricky mental tests".

      You're right, they haven't proven causation. However they have a plausible mechanism (exercising the mind improves it). The alternative hypothesis (that people play games because they have certain mental strengths) seems less likely. Either way it'd be easy to establish causation in this case.

      A w

    • A week or so ago, there was an article in the (Canadian) Globe and Mail about some study that indicated that shorter people live longer than taller people by (as I recall) 1.5 years per inch. I assume that this is at least partly genetic characteristices that, in some people, go together. But some guy was suggesting that you should feed your kids less so they don't grow as tall and therefore will presumable live longer. This idea seems.... potentially slanderous to comment upon.

      Getting a bit off topic, bu
  • by sallymander (932697) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @04:29AM (#14698825) Homepage
    Okay, so they surveyed 100 college students. Of gamers I know in college, a very large percentage tend to be engineers, and many of those tend to be Asian American...and speak a second language because of their heritage...and very likely came from families that really emphasized math and sciences. Most "mental tests" tend to lean in favor of that population.
  • by SeaFox (739806) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @04:41AM (#14698851)
    If this is true than this generation should prove to be more mentally healthy than previous generations into old age. Video games didn't exist for the Boomer's childhood and didn't hit mainstream till adolecence for Gen X. But Gen Y and later have had the availabilty of this sort of therapy since they were old enough to hold a joystick. This increased time should (in my theory at least) mean greater mental ability into old age than the pervious two generations.

    I wonder if the type of game or level of difficulty have any effect either. I find today's games are a lot more complex than when I was young. Yet you still see young people able to master them. Perhaps this will enhance the effect due to the additional hand-eye coordination and problem solving skills needed to navigate in a modern first person shooter (where vertical/rotational perspective has to be tracked independently of actual character movement) vs. the simple side scrollers we started on (like Super Mario Bros).

    Like the idea long ago that 65 years was very old age one would be lucky to make it to, perhaps someday the idea of the mentally feeble old man will be tossed as people stay sharp in mind far into their twilight years.
    • I don't think you need any extra mental skills to navigate in a first person shooter. Reality is first person too!

      (I suppose you do learn to move without stereoscopic vision or feedback from your muscles and inner ear.)
      • Not entirely true--it takes time to build up the coordination between your vision and your hands; that is, being able to see where you need to go on screen and getting your character there while keeping your field of view where you want it (ie turning instead of strafing, moving the mouse on the right axis, etc)

  • by Max Nugget (581772) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @04:55AM (#14698876)
    Watch any older adult try to pick up a game controller and play a videogame. *IF* they manage to get the hang of using the controller, they typically are overwhelmed by the sheer complexity of the modern videogame and the number of things they must simultaneously (and QUICKLY) keep track of. This has always been, IMHO, at least anecdotal evidence that videogames clearly develop a certain set of mental skills that very few other activities develop so effectively.
    • overwhelmed by the sheer complexity of the modern videogame and the number of things they must simultaneously

      There must be a disipline of user interface undesign within game developent. I must remember this when I am interviewing new UI designers.

      My point (if I have a point) is that games are not like any other software, and increasingly are not like other things which employ UI design principles.

      • by Aladrin (926209) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @06:47AM (#14699136)
        I think you misunderstand. The complexity doesn't come from the interface.

        Take my father, for example. He's been driving since he was in high-school, so I'm pretty sure he's caught onto that. He's got an IQ of like 140 or so, so he's no idiot.

        Now, place a Playstation 1 controller in his hand and let him play a racing game. Pick an easy one with just the analog stick, brake and gas. (Yes, I've done this.)

        The result is pathetic. He actively WANTS to play it. He asked for it. He repeatedly runs into the walls, forgets which controls are which (There's only 2!) and generally just fails at the game. He played for a few hours with the same results. He asked me like 3 or 4 times over the first hour or so what the controls were. (Admittedly, the last time was a confirmation, not a question.)

        This is something any kid I can name would be able to do quite easily. He did not grow up with video games of any sort, and does not touch-type.

        He's an amazing industrial engineer, but the simplest of video games eludes him. It's not the complicated UI, it's a thought-pattern he never developed. Maybe if he spent enough time at it, he could pick it up, but he never will. He's got too many things to do that are actually fun for him.

        I think the study fails to recognize that there are thought-patterns associated with being a good gamer, but gamers definitely tend towards more agile thinking and better motor skills, at least for the hands.
        • Like you said, the game itself is simple. He's not asking about XP points and manna, he's asking about the controls. Driving a car with playstation controls instead of a steering wheel, paddles and a stickshift (if applicable) is not intuitive.
          • It's at least as intuitive as a car's controls. You turn a wheel to make the car change direction? Which way is clockwise, left or right? You press a lever down to make it go forwards. You press an identical level to make it stop? And you press it the same way! You have to move a stick to different positions for different gears (it would appear as speeds) and it also handles reverse? But there's only 1 gear for that? If you'd never seen a car, it would be very unintuitive.

            For the psx, there's just a
      • I suggest you read Raskin. He argued that bad UIs and games were the same thing - you had to navigate them, work out how they worked, and test your brain along the way.
    • by Spiffae (707428) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @05:50AM (#14699023)
      This exact point is covered in the extremely excellent "Everything Bad Is Good For You" [amazon.com] which I'm sure Slashdot has reviewed...let's see. Yep [slashdot.org].

      It's an excellent book and well worth the time and money. Covers a huge range of topics from watching TV to playing Grand Theft Auto, and it does so in a well informed and enlightening way.
      • And Zelda... (Score:2, Interesting)

        by 7Prime (871679)

        I think the most intriguing part is where he reviewed about 5 minutes in the mind of someone playing Wind Waker. He litterally has to use up pages and pages of hierarchical lists to demonstrate the thought process, and then at the end says, "this is something like 1/100th of the entire game". Having played games in the series, I think he hit the nail on the head.

        My only qualm with the book is that he originally had setout to do a book about video games, but then realized that his theories paralleled other

    • Yeah - and watch a video-game playing young adult try to get a mortgage on a house, or do anything more complicated than save up for a new Athlon.

      It's actually quite sad that video games are so hellishly complicated. I'm no slouch, and I need an hour or two to competently play a new game. Games even have 'training mode' where you can hone your skills. Gimme a break. These aren't 'mental skills' - they're learned behaviors. What happened to people who just like to play video games? Why does there hav

      • "These aren't 'mental skills' - they're learned behaviors."

        Learned behaviors are mental skills. Seems our brains are geared more for reacting to events around us than to ponderous analysis. This makes sense if you think about our evolution: Which is going to let you live longer to successfully breed, thinking about running away from the obvious danger, or just running and maybe thinking about it later.

        Some suggest that we do actual thinking only to the point where we find a valid, working reaction. We then
    • The fact is, games started with a simple interface, if only by virtue of not having CPU or RAM for more complex stuff. Pong only had two directions: up and down. Pacman had four. At this point we're not even talking about a fire button yet: just the directions. Then games got a fire button. Then two. Then gradually... well, have you looked at a console controller lately? A PS2 one sports no less than 12 buttons, including the thumbsticks which can _also_ act as buttons, in addition to their normal function.
  • by DaNasty (833075) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @04:55AM (#14698877) Homepage
    I've certainly noticed it's improved my memory and allowed me to become more adept at finding my way around new places. Expansive games like GTA: SA have allowed me to learn locations & glean directions with just a cusory glance at a map. Thanks videogames!
  • I use desktop sidebar to subscribe to slashdot... I play World of Warcraft in windows mode so I can still see desktop sidebar... Both of these events where occuring at the same time... I guess that whole "task switching" thing works well in my head...

    Comment posted, time to slaughter some more aliance care bears!!
  • The trade-off (Score:2, Insightful)

    On the other hand. if you instead of spending your time playing VG's you spend it studying, working, reading an educational book, socializing with fun or interesing people, the benefits would far surpass the whatever skills these ppl claim you acquire.

    (Not to mention the increased number of opportunities to meet chicks, unless of course you are this guy
    http://media.putfile.com/PurePwnage-WoWisafeeling [putfile.com] ...)
  • by toolslive (953869) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @05:14AM (#14698922)
    most Europeans speak 2 or 3 languages... and yes, they consider Americans stupid.
    • Re:Europe vs US (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cyber-vandal (148830) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @08:46AM (#14699370) Homepage
      Which as far as I can tell is due to 2 factors: most Europeans start learning a foreign language at a very young age; and there is an enormous amount of English language media out there.
      I bet your charts are full of US and UK music in English, I bet your TV channels have English language shows with subtitles, and you are currently posting on an English language website.
      Contrast my experience as a Briton learning French: there are no French songs in the charts, my only opportunity to see French language shows is TV5 without subtitles and there are no French language websites that really grab my interest although I'm still looking around.
      Learning other languages you have it even more simple given that French, Spanish and Italian all have a lot in common, and Dutch, German, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian likewise.
      If you could speak a language very different to your own with little to no exposure to the language outside lessons I'd be more impressed, as it is mainland Europeans have it very easy with regards to being multilingual and your arrogance is misplaced.
      • oh come on, give me a break.

        english is similar enough to most european languages, especially to dutch. anyway, taking language courses without being exposed to that particular language can be sufficient as long as you keep practizing.

        i used to speak a bit hebrew, many germans speak russian or even latin (both with a gross accent though).
        the german abitur (roughly comparable to the british a-levels) compulsory includes two foreign languages and many pupils even take three (popular choices are latin, english
      • Learning other languages you have it even more simple given that French, Spanish and Italian all have a lot in common, and Dutch, German, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian likewise.

        Well, I'd certainly put a big gap between (German and Dutch), (Norwegian, Swedish, Danish). I'm norwegian and I can mostly understand swedes and danes (actually more than they tend to understand me), but the other two are quite hopeless without education. Hell, I speak (or at least spoke) a very good german, I've been taken for being
    • and yes, they consider Americans stupid.

      That's a fair assessment, since everybody everywhere is stupid.

    • Re:Europe vs US (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tony1343 (910042)
      The fact that Americans don't speak multiple languages also stems from the geopolitical reality of the nation. I can drive thousands of miles in any direction, and the language never changes. You cannot say the same thing about Europe. It is necessary to learn multiple languages in Europe. In America it is just not so. Now, this will hopefully change in the future. Spanish is becoming quite prevalent. Also, with the fact that travel across the globe is so easy, hopefully Americans will become more and
    • and yes, they consider Americans stupid.

      Don't worry, it's mutual.
  • Does l337 speak count as a language?
  • by jcr (53032)
    I'll play some videogames as soon as I find my damn glasses...

    -jcr
  • Yep, that's just what I need to read. Thanks, /. for making me work even less now.

    otoh, anyone know where the latest download of Dark Castle 3 is? :D
  • I've entered university two years ago and I've been styding various programming algorithms there (like width- and depth- searching in graphs, data flow etc).
    When I recently played Warcraft (haven't played it for three years or more) I've found out that I'm applying the stuff I've been studying. Particulary, using width-searching when I'm developing my home base. As a result, I'm beating the computer all the time and often even some of my hardcore-gaming friends.
    Well, if I haven't entered university, I would
  • I for one welcome our new bilingual gaming ove... Hey wait a minute, I'm a trilingual gaming geek! :-o
  • ... as a quality of adaptability to it.

    If you don't use it, you lose it. But if you do use it, then you get better at it.

    What is it? Whjat ever it is that you focus on and apply, mentally....
  • Pues claro los que participan en los juegos de video que también son bilingües muestran función cerebral superior. Desde el Nintendo DS hasta el Xbox 360, todos los juegos de video representan ejercicio para los reflejos, los centros de lógica y la imaginación. La necesidad de manejar el mundo del juego en realtime corresponde a la tarea de dominar el sistema de gramática y lista de vocabulario del otro idioma. Búscame en Xbox Live para hablar más sob
  • by Havenwar (867124) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @10:23AM (#14699619)
    But what about the body? Sure, gaming is good for the brain... so is readin, drawing, studying, thinking, fantasizing, and pretty much anything else you do with your mind. How do I know... simple - if you stop you're dead.

    But more importantly, as I said, what about the body? I'm pretty sure it isn't helped by those 48 hour MMORPG maratons. Really want to have the mind of a 12 year old in the body of a 75 year old... when you'r thirty, or maybe forty? Really?

    I think I'll diversify a bit more myself. Maybe pick up another language... or I dunno... not game so much.

    Just one more level.
  • THE CURE FOR ALZHEIMERS -

    A single player two-game tetris handheld that provides verbal instructions and tells jokes about Soviet Russia in English, Spanish, and Russian.

    YEAH BUDDY.
    • I already tested the Alzheimer's idea at my local nursing home. I put half the residents on a regime of Tetris, and half on Grand Theft Auto. The tetris players showed a marked improvement in cognitive skills, right up to the point when the GTA players jacked their wheelchairs, shot them for their money and took their meds to sell.
  • by grikdog (697841) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @12:53PM (#14700273) Homepage
    When I turned 60, I didn't turn myself in for euthanasia, either. Star Ocean is lots more fun, and I've learned to appreciate those annoying AI bugs.

    On a serious note, I apparently had a minor strokelet a couple years ago that left me unable to understand the color red in the context of traffic lights, stop signs, tail lights, etc. Red means stop, of course, bear with me here. When I see red in any more or less urgent context involving driving a car, red is simply invisible.

    I have to TELL myself, in words, what it means. I've got the tickets to show for this weirdly anecdotal condition, and I've learned to love my 2000 Honda Civic's ABS and V-Tek engine in consequence. That was then.

    These days, several months after the worst of these episodes (it was never life-threatening, fortunately), my "red reflex" has rewired itself almost back to normal -- and the only major change in my lifestyle has been videogaming. Post hoc ergo propter hoc and all that jazz, Doc, but I think there's something to it.
  • The headline of the story comes from the following quote in the article

    Canadian researchers are finding evidence that the high-speed, multitasking of the young and wireless can help protect their brains from aging.

    This appears to be pure editorializing. The closest evidence that gets cited to support this claim are the following quotes:

    Dr. Grady said the results suggest that the brains of today's youth might grow up differently.

    Saying that your brain might grow up differently is a far cry from sayin

  • This must be why my wife says I always act like an 8 year old..
  • I'm looking forward to the violent, sociopathic octogenarians of the year 2050.

This place just isn't big enough for all of us. We've got to find a way off this planet.

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