Massive StarCraft 2 study shows brain speed drops at age 24

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

By on April 22, 2014 at 4:04 pm

A new study by Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada, has analysed 3,305 StarCraft 2 players in a bid to track how brain processes and cognitive performance work over time.

The study, which included gamers as young as 16 all the way up to 44, show a measurable drop in cognitive performance at age 24, a decline that continues over time, even at higher skill levels (using StarCraft 2‘s ranking system).

Having recently turned 29 myself, I am suddenly gripped with terror — but fear not! Older players, according to the study, continue to perform at high levels of skill even despite the loss in “cognitive motor speed”.

“Older players, though slower, seem to compensate by employing simpler strategies and using the game’s interface more efficiently than younger players, enabling them to retain their skill,” says SFU’s Joe Thompson, the author of the study.

Interesting stuff. Read the paper for yourself here.

Source: Thanks, Andrew

14 comments (Leave your own)

So while younger players may be quicker thinkers, and maybe sharper defined motor skills, older gamers use keyboard shortcuts and other shortcuts to avoiding clicking through tedious menus, saving that precious time. Correct?

 

Well done confirming what centuries of competitive sports have shown.

 

What this does mean though, is that older gamers (>24) when starting new games (especially games that are very different) will find it harder to increase their skill than players who are under 24 who have similar levels of experience as the older gamers.

 

hellbender:
What this does mean though, is that older gamers (>24) when starting new games (especially games that are very different) will find it harder to increase their skill than players who are under 24 who have similar levels of experience as the older gamers.

Probably. Compare the speed at which teenagers grasp new technology versus their parents. What is even worse is the implication that all of that learned behaviour is probably going to impede new learning.

 

When I did music psychology we were told that intelligence and the ability to learn new information increases up until ~age 20, where it decreases over time.

Conversely, wisdom rises from age 20 to compensate, where it drops off a lot around age 80.

 
 

rapid101:
Conversely, wisdom rises from age 20 to compensate, where it drops off a lot around age 80.

“Wisdom”?

 
Nasty Wet Smear

I do not think that people my age….

 
Nasty Wet Smear

………….

 
Nasty Wet Smear

…. Are slower!

 

bad study is bad. A new era of person has come in, doing studys of older people that had completely different upbringings with completely different technology and/or lack thereof altogether, is one major variable that renders this study null an void.

To make a fair study, you would need a kid to play games for 30 years, then you would need that exact kid, that exact IQ hand-eye coordination, motor skills etc to play games exactly the way the first kid did, from which games he played, to how often to how long, to what he did in those games etc etc to the age of 18 for example, then, compare the 2, once they have both been in the same and controlled and fair environment, to make comparisons off of.

 

whiskiz,

you what?

You want to make psychological assessments of a group of people, using impossible criteria, and a sample size of 2. I suggest you choose a statistics subject in year 11 or 12.

Bad troll is bad.

 

I would not call a study of just over 3,000 massive :/…

 

larry,

The study of 2 was obviously just an example of how to conduct a fair test, again, obviously.

impossible criteria or not doesn’t matter, that’s still what would take to make it a fair assessment.

Same or similar people, same or similar living environment, same or similar gaming experience, same or similar general technology use.

 
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