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Games Science

Your StarCraft II Potential Peaked At Age 24 103

An anonymous reader writes "StarCraft II is popular among competitive gamers for having the depth necessary to reward differences in skill. A new study has found that your ability keep up with the game's frantic pace starts to decline at age 24. This is relevant to more than just StarCraft II players: 'While many high-performance athletes start to show age-related declines at a young age, those are often attributed to physical as opposed to brain aging. ... While previous lab tests have shown faster reaction times for simple individual tasks, it was never clear how much relevance those had to complex, real-world tasks such as driving. Thompson noted that Starcraft is complex and quite similar to real-life tasks such as managing 911 calls at an emergency dispatch centre, so the findings may be directly relevant. However, game performance was much easier to analyze than many real-life situations because the game generates detailed logs of every move. In a way, Thompson said, the study is a good demonstration of what kinds of insights can be gleaned from the "cool data sets" generated by our digital lives.'"
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Your StarCraft II Potential Peaked At Age 24

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  • by rs1n ( 1867908 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @12:15AM (#46764047)
    A better study would be to analyze how the SC2 pros perform as they age. There is a big difference between the amount of free time a college student has to devote to playing a game and improving his skill vs. someone with a family and job to maintain. The article suggests that age is the factor in the decline of skill, when what it really shows is that most folks are likely to have less time to devote to a game once they leave college and take on real jobs and have kids.
  • by antifoidulus ( 807088 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @12:44AM (#46764175) Homepage Journal
    Maybe someone can explain what they actually tested here(besides reaction time), the paper and the summary both state that they matched players of similar skill level but found the younger players were better....well then if that is really the case you didn't match players of similar skill levels did you? If they are at the same skill level then how is the younger player any "better"? They seem to be quantifying it by measuring reaction time, but is a faster reaction time always better, especially if the results are the same? Maybe the older players are taking slightly longer to consider their options rather than just clicking like mad.... I'm not sure what they are trying to say here.
  • I can believe this (Score:2, Insightful)

    by NotSoHeavyD3 ( 1400425 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @01:00AM (#46764233)
    I mean isn't there a saying in the physics world "if you haven't made a big discovery by the age of 30 you never will." I think there's been a lot of research that basically says people peak in their mid to late 20's on most things.
  • by globaljustin ( 574257 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @01:35AM (#46764323) Journal

    I love gaming and gamers. Platform, console, CPU, mobile app, web based, javascript, retro, LCD one-color sports games...all of it...played it, usually loved it. I even love ridiculous vaporware like Duke Nuke 'em 3D or w/e it was...b/c LOL...right?

    I just stopped gaming after I finished college.

    I think this study needs to take into account that high-level gaming can taper dramatically due to age/interest.

    I'd like to see people who have a financial stake at being good at games over 5+ years compared.

    I have mini-renaissances...I taught my dad how to play the Tiger Woods golf on xbox & he became better at it than me, with a whole bunch of online friends...I still pwn at Mario Kart no matter what anytime anywhere and can pretty much hang with Tetris grand masters on the game boy version...

    see...i used to be a gamer...but now I just don't really give a shit...

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"