ByTim Horton, writer at
Business Development Manager at Universally Speaking. @TimHortonGame | Email: [email protected]
Tim Horton

These are three facts of life from which there can be no escape – we eat, we sleep and we get old. We know that video games can affect your sleep (or, lack thereof) and it can certainly affect your eating habits. I recall back in the summer of 2012 I pretty much relied only on instant noodles for sustenance as I battled my way through Dark Souls. But age? Surely not – a video game cannot stop you from aging can it?

According to new research conducted for the Entertainment Software Association’s annual report video gaming actually can have an effect on the speed in which a person will age. The study focused specifically on how video games affect the mind as people grow older but it also seemed to show that people were not only compos mentis for longer but remained physically active for longer too.

Scientists are still working on the links between the two but still this is very exciting news for me – maybe I will live long enough to see a fully functioning virtual reality Jurassic Park. Or, even the real thing…

The study revealed that the global average for people in 2016 over 50 that actively play video games is 30 percent. This is an increase of 21 percent in just 10 years.

As the pac-man generation head into retirement and we all too make our steady way down that weary lane we call life we thought we would provide you with a few games that are scientifically proven to help you live longer. Live long and prosper good friends here are four games that will keep you young.

4. The last of Us

Contrary to popular belief games do not only have to be mathematically or logically stimulating to keep the brain agile. Engaging and interactive storylines are able to work the brain in other ways. Using more in depth, grown up stories to play through allows for new channels to be created within the brain. The more channels you build, the more you encourage the brain to adapt and refine. By doing this you are encouraging new brain development.

Never have I ever connected with a protagonist like I did with Joel and Ellie. The story of having absolute faith in another human was beautifully stirring. The Last of Us is absolutely one of the best games I have ever played. The game deserves movies, parades, sequels and pretty much anything else it wants.

It is perfect for this list as it combined all the greatest of several gaming genres and the storyline sucked the player into a world of utter immersion – It was an interactive extravaganza and one that certainly kept my mind entertained.

3. Limbo

Limbo again will allow the brain to create new imaginative pathways that will induce an increase in serotonin levels and increased mental stimulation. The game itself is simple and fun. The white, black and grey tones allowed the player to sink into an eerie new world. It is in essence, a platform puzzle game – but in Limbo each obstacle that has to be overcome almost feels like a game within itself.

The aesthetics make the player feel as if they are playing Limbo from within their dreams. It really is magical and perfect for the over 50’s.

2. Braintrainer

Ok, so this is defiantly more along the lines of keeping you mind fit. The brain trainer series is an obvious choice for those that wish to keep their mind agile and the lasting benefits of such activities are plentiful. There is a belief that channels created by brain training games stay open for longer and therefore allow for a prolonged mentally edge over others in your demographic.

Unlike other examples in this list this game is specifically designed to give your brain a work out. This is the gym membership your brain needs. And hey, it’s fun to push yourself every once in a awhile.

1. World of Warcraft

Not only is World of Warcraft incredible fun but apparently according to Drs Allaire and McLaughlin from North Carolina University it is the best game to keep you young.

WoW incorporates all of the key elements of the above games listed and puts them into one continuously engaging format. The tutorials allow for new learning channels to be created whilst the exploration element allows for the imaginative and exploratory components to be re-opened.

The game also allows for customisation and forces the player to interact with both written and spoken word. It is a mind sculpting machine.

By keeping or brain active for longer we are scientifically proven to remain more mentally astute for longer. There you have it – science – you can’t argue with it, and that is what I will be telling everyone from this point on. Sorry I can’t take the trash out I am busy staying alive!

I jest, this is to be taken as advice to used in moderation – you can still go out and do other things but do bear in mind that the brain does need constant stimulation and if you keep it active throughout your life you are sure to live a long and happy existence – and ensure your right to play video games for ever.

Sorce: Gains Through Gaming Lab, Entertainment Software Association’s annual report


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