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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 Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @12:51AM (#46764207)

    I played Brood War semi-professionally when I was younger and had a go at StarCraft II as well. Although I was a competent player consistently in the top 20 on the EU and US ladders with some minor secondary accomplishments, I never felt like I could adapt or react quickly enough to really be a force. Building on my experiences playing Brood War at the highest level in my teens, I had an advantage going into StarCraft II in my late twenties. I was quickly overtaken (within a year of the game being released) by many people over a decade younger. Some of them having little RTS experience. My ancient, petrified brain simply couldn't compete with their brain elasticity.

    That being said, there are some StarCraft II players that do (or did, I haven't kept up with the scene in a long time) well despite their age. WhiteRa and NesTea come to mind.

  • Superior pilots (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Todd Knarr ( 15451 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @01:39AM (#46764331) Homepage

    I'm minded though of a saying: "The superior pilot uses his superior piloting judgement to avoid needing to demonstrate his superior piloting skill.". The study tends to bear that out too, as they comment that the decline disappears when you look only at the end results (the score). And in the end, if you're better at juggling dozens of things at once and react faster than your opponent and consistently lose to him, you're consistently losing to him.

The absent ones are always at fault.