Immersive video games, particularly those with environmentally enriched open-worlds, can help adults to combat cognitive decline in the long run.
According to a new study conducted by the department of neurobiology and behavior at the University of California, steady cognitive decline with clear losses in memory is part of the aging process. However, by playing video games, adults (both young and old) can improve their hippocampal-based memory.
Previous studies have found that modifying living environments can have positive influences on animals suffering from age-related cognitive decline. Basing on the same animal studies, it has been determined that the large open-worlds of modern-day video games can act as substitute for the aforementioned “environmental enrichment” living environments for positive results.
The way video games work to combat memory loss though differ between age groups. Young adults can see improvements by just playing immersive games with open-worlds. Older adults can see improvements to their hippocampal-based memory by playing video games for four weeks. These improvements have shown to last for up to four weeks after the original four-week period. Hence, highlighting how age-related cognitive decline can be intervened.
…playing video games for four weeks can improve hippocampal-based memory in a population that is already experiencing age-related decline in memory. Furthermore, we showed that the improvements last for up to four weeks past the intervention.
Elsewhere, another recent study pointed out that video games themselves are not addictive. The widely reported (or misreported) addiction gets birthed out of three important factors: the age of the player, impulsivity and the play-time invested. The study noted that younger players are prone to play longer and have higher scores of problem use. The study concluded that the notion of video games causing addiction can be false since other factors have to be taken into account.