A new study shows that video games can improve your daily life

playing a video game can improve your daily life gaming

A new study led by neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley of the University of California, San Francisco has concluded that if a game is made to specifically target a cognitive deficit, it can improve the daily life of the person in question. The study also shows that other, non-targeted cognitive areas can benefit as well.

The study, which was published in Nature, used a game called NeuroRacer that was designed to help the elderly improve their multitasking abilities. Where many studies have long held that gaming can improve cognitive functions, not many have been able to show that the increased cognitive responses actually translate to improved results in daily activities. Using a group of 30 test subjects ranging in age from 20 to 70, Gazzaley and his team had them play the game to confirm that multitasking abilities deteriorate with age. The researchers then brought in a second group of 46 subjects, all between 60 and 85 years of age, and had them play – or train – on the game for a four week period.

Once the month long session was complete, the subjects were tested against 20 year olds that didn’t know the game but were expected to have better multitasking abilities, and therefore would normally be expected to do well with the game. The elderly test group regularly achieved higher scores than 20 year olds, and more importantly, those skills remained for more than six months without practice.

While the focus of the experiment was specifically multitasking, the research team also tested for other cognitive improvements, even those not targeted by the game. There was noticeable and measurable improvement in several areas, including memory and sustained attention. The tests also revealed a general increase in neurological activity.

NeuroRacer is a fairly simple racing game, where the participant controls the car through twists and turns with their left hand, while color coated signs pop up. Certain signs appear that require the player to shoot them with a trigger on their right hand, encouraging them to constantly focus their attention on multiple things at once. Gazzaley recently helped to form the company Akili, which plans to introduce a similar product commercially in the near future.

Emerging Tech

Global Good wants to rid the world of deadly diseases with lasers and A.I.

Global Good, a collaboration between Intellectual Ventures and Bill Gates, aims to eradicate diseases that kill children in developing nations. It tackles difficult problems with high-tech prototypes.
Gaming

Here's what you need to know about World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth is the latest expansion for the now 14-year-old MMORPG. It goes back to the roots of the Alliance vs. Horde conflict. Here's what you need to know.
Computing

Chrome is a fantastic browser, but is is still the best among new competitors?

Choosing a web browser for surfing the web can be tough with all the great options available. Here we pit the latest versions of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, and Vivaldi against one another to find the best browsers for most users.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Norsemen’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Gaming

The best guns in Apex Legends for obliterating the competition

Though Apex Legends is a squad-based hero shooter, your success is largely dictated on the firepower in your arsenal. Our Apex Legends gun guide details every gun and lays out which ones are best in their class.
Gaming

From arcade to simulation, here are the best racing games of all time

From serious sims to carnage-fueled arcade racers to cartoonish animated racers with items galore, we collected racing games of all different stripes from multiple eras of video games. Here are the best.
Gaming

Xbox-exclusive games could find a second home on Nintendo Switch

Microsoft is reportedly set to release some of its first-party games on Nintendo Switch, as well as the Xbox Game Pass and Project xCloud services. Cross-play between Switch and Xbox One is already enabled.
Gaming

Transform into a tetromino master with our Tetris 99 tips and tricks

Tetris 99 is the latest battle royale game to stir up quite a bit of commotion. The Nintendo Switch Online exclusive adds a few new unexplained quirks to the Tetris formula. We've got you covered with our Tetris 99 tips and tricks.
Gaming

Need to perform a factory reset on your Xbox One console? Here's how to do it

Whether you're upgrading to a One X and giving your old console to a friend, or troubleshooting a technical issue, sometimes your Xbox One needs a clean slate. Here's our quick guide on how to factory reset an Xbox One.
Gaming

Battle royale-style Tetris 99 is the first Nintendo Switch Online-exclusive game

If you want to play online multiplayer on Switch, you'll need a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. Here's what you need to know about Nintendo Switch Online, from price to features to the awesome library of NES games.
Gaming

The best PUBG weapons to win you that coveted chicken dinner

Which weapons in PUBG are worth the time to scout out and fit with attachments? Which are going to help you become the last player standing? We've got the answers you need in our best PUBG weapons guide.
Gaming

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in Destiny 2: Forsaken

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.
Computing

Metro Exodus update brings DLSS improvements to Nvidia RTX 20-series PCs

Having issues in Metro Exodus? A February 21 update for the title recently delivered enhancements to Nvidia’s deep learning supersampling feature and other fixes for low-specced PCs. 
Gaming

Want to play as Iron Man or Waluigi in GTA V? Our favorite mods make it possible

Grand Theft Auto V is best on the PC for many reasons, and modifications may be the most important. You can cause riots, spawn unique cars, and play as a cop with just a few extra files.