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Study Claims Cognitive Functions Increased through Casual Gaming

Video games are good for you and can make you smarter! It is now a proven fact. Or at least one study seems to think so.

A six-month-long study that focused on U.S. consumers age 50 and older shows a link between casual gaming and significant cognitive increase. According to a press releases sent out by Pop Cap Games, makers of the games Bejeweled and Peggle among others, the study focused on over 40 individuals as they played casual games, such as Bejeweled. Pop Cap Games did not underwrite the study.

The study measured the brain waves of the subjects before and after playing casual games. Subjects that played games like Bejeweled for a 30-minute period showed an 87 percent improvement in cognitive response time, and a 215 percent increase in executive functioning (the frequency of correctly completing parts of the task) compared to the control group.

The Director of the Psychophysiology department, Dr. Carmen Russoniello, will present the preliminary result to the sixth annual Games for Health Conference in Boston. The full study results will be submitted later this fall.

“The initial results of the study are very intriguing, in that they suggest that the ‘active participation’ required while playing a casual video game like Bejeweled provides an opportunity for mental exercise that more passive activities, like watching television, do not,” Russoniello said. “Future applications could include prescriptive applications using casual video games to potentially stave off Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia-type disorders.”

And as awesome as cheating Alzheimer’s through video games might sound, it might not just be the casual gamers that may reap the benefits either.

“Video games with more complex rules and controls, and more sophisticated or detailed imagery — so-called ‘hardcore’ video games — might provide similar cognitive benefits for many people,” Russoniello said in the press release. “But those games take significantly longer to learn to play and appeal to a considerably narrower subset of the overall population, especially older consumers. In our experience, ‘casual’ video games are ideal both in terms of their accessibility and ease of understanding and because they appeal to nearly everyone.”

Therefore, logically hardcore gamers will soon be the smartest people alive, and we will live longer than anyone else either- assuming the intense online matches of Modern Warfare don’t cause us to have a heart attacks, of course.