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Posts with tag age

Can playing WoW improve your brain power?

Older players improve cognitive function through playing WoW
Can playing World of Warcraft maintain or improve your brain power? When it comes to specifics like improving cognitive function, there really haven't been many significant, sizeable research studies that can put hard numbers on the line. WoW player and early onset Alzheimer's disease sufferer Bill Craig would certainly attest to the power of gaming in maintaining brain function -- he's living proof that WoW can be a vital part of a brain-healthy regimen to stretch and maintain cognitive function. (If you haven't already read Bill's story, you owe it yourself to follow that link. It'll make your day.)

So when news of a fresh research project looking at WoW's effects on cognitive abilities in older players started making the rounds in the national media, Bill was one of the first to ping us with an excited email. "Tell us something we didn't already know, right, Lisa?" he crowed. "Guess I might be called a 'pioneer' of sorts, huh?" Indeed, Bill, you're totally my hero -- and look out, because it looks like the scientific world is starting to catch on and catch up to our secrets.

This week, WoW Insider interviews Dr. Jason Allaire at North Carolina State University, who co-authored the recent study showing that playing WoW can boost certain cognitive functions in older adults. Himself a former WoW player and long-time MMO player, Dr. Allaire shares a gaming-filtered view of how his research and WoW interrelate to show that indeed, World of Warcraft can be good for your brain.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Drama Mamas: Should minors hide their age?

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

I don't know if the letter writer is American; I just like the song. We normally edit our letters a little for clarity, but the way this one is written is important to this week's topic.
hello I'm a tank in turmoil

I'm a main tank for a small social, levelling guild we recently got teamspeak so we could progress through content at a faster pace, my problem is this I'm not the most aged player in my group and Ive not quiet hit the point in my life were my voice doesn't so sound young, i the main tank for my guild any they rely heavily on me, my guild leader is my best in game friend and i don't want to ruin my friendship with him but when he finds out I'm a minor it will ruin our friendship and il be laugh out of my guild. i have had 2 sever transfers because of this problem which has been really annoying and i don't want to leave my guild because i grown attached to them. want should i do?

sincerely tank in turmoil

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Breakfast Topic: Is a guild leader's age just a number?

Older player with knitting
This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

The issue of age in WoW has been debated in this column before. Some guilds have age requirements. Some do not. We have discussed whether it matters that the progression raid you find yourself in is led by a 15-year-old or a 25-year-old. For some, it does. Maturity and language are the usual reasons given for age restrictions. For others, if the person does his job, who cares if he is 13 or 33? A 33-year-old can be more immature than a 13-year-old. As this topic has been debated before, that's not what I'm going to explore. What I'm curious about is, does the age of your guild leader matter?

Leading a guild is, I believe, first and foremost, a labor of love. Essentially, you get very few thanks and an awful lot of "waaaaah." It's not unlike being the leader of a small country. No one thanks you for spending four hours putting together a schedule for the month, but they are quick to complain when the right complement of people doesn't log on, so a raid has to be postponed. You find yourself dealing with inappropriate behavior from all levels. You have to call people on the carpet for something they are or are not doing. They pitch a fit and leave in the most drama-provoking manner they can. You look at what you, personally, would like to do and schedule one event to, say, get that last Burning Crusade raid done for the meta -- only no one shows up. There are all sorts of people online, but they are off doing their own thing. Three days later, someone says, "Hey, how come we never run X?" ... which just happens to be the raid you wanted to run. Bang your head on the desk much?

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

15 Minutes of Fame: Couple levels up together in raids and real life

15 Minutes of Fame is WoW.com's look at World of Warcraft personalities of all shapes and sizes -- from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, from the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

Age is relative. I'm not quite sure about the whole "dog years" thing, but in WoW terms, I'd be clearing my calendar this week for Sunken Temple -- surely a respectable shot past the so-called "mature" players who are still frolicking about in Scarlet Monastery, Uldaman and Zul'Farrak. So when people write in to ask me to write about "older" players and then suggest someone who's, well, my age ... the eyeballs, they start a-rollin'. An "older" player? Try 76-year-old Loyal Leitgen.

Still, I'd have to admit that players older than, say, the mid-40s aren't your typical dungeon finder fare. And an older couple who raids ICC together? Now you're talking -- and so are the gregarious Qryztal and Poli of Silvermoon (US-A), brought together by the might and magic of games across an entire ocean (and still gaming after all these years), in this week's 15 Minutes of Fame.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Breakfast Topic: Do you know where your children are?


Lately, I've been writing a series of articles on playing with your children. First, I talked about playing with preschoolers, like my own daughter, and then about reading age children. Though both articles are about playing with young children and I recommend not letting them play WoW by themselves, many readers complained in the comments that I was encouraging children to run amok in Azeroth. I certainly understand their concerns, because encountering rude and/or needy young ones while playing can really reduce your enjoyment.

The other night, I started a gnome mage and came across a couple of other gnomes while entering the noobie troll cave. We grouped up to get to Grik'nir the Cold and the leader of the group, we'll call him Goodkid asked our ages. I said my ancient age, Goodkid said he was 11 and the other kid, we'll call him Juvie, said "U R GAY UR 44". Now, I'm not completely hip on the cool talk of today, but I think that translates into English as: "Excuse me, but I think you are lying about your age." Juvie then stated he was 10.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Breakfast Topics

WoW, Casually: Playing with your reading-age child


Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player with limited playtime. Of course, you people with lots of playtime can read this too, but you may get annoyed by the fact that we are unashamed, even proud, of the fact that beating WoW isn't our highest priority. Take solace in the fact that your gear is better than ours, but if that doesn't work, remember that we outnumber you. Not that that's a threat, after all, we don't have time to do anything about it. But if WoW were a democracy, we'd win.

Since I last wrote about playing with preschoolers, I have been having an extremely rewarding time playing Itchee with The Spawn. The benefits to both of us are even greater than I originally wrote about. I find that my Itchee time is making me appreciate all of my WoW time even more. Nurturing my child while enjoying my limited playtime is a win-win situation.

It's particularly nice to have this indoor activity to do together with the nasty heatwave we are having in the real world. And that leads me to something I want to address before we get into the guide for playing with reading-age children:

These guides are for parents who have made the educated decision to include WoW as one of the indoor activities to participate in with their children.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW, Casually

Drama Mamas: Let the drama begin!

Let the Drama Mamas guide you through the sticky business of dodging drama, toward becoming that player everyone wants in their group. Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

Getting your own 15 Minutes of Fame is not a bad thing – except when it's for all the wrong reasons. Leave the drama, Dear Reader, to the denizens of GuildWatch. Introducing WoW.com's Drama Mamas, here to help you stay out of the wrong kind of spotlight. Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players. And just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server.

What to do, what to say? Let the Drama Mamas guide you:
  • The polite way to share quest monsters
  • When someone "accidentally" ninjas your loot
  • When you accidentally ninja someone else's loot
  • Handling the (nice but annoying) pest
  • When your friend's significant other is an awful player
What's your dilemma? Send your questions to the Drama Mamas at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

And now, on to the matters at hand ...

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Filed under: WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Features, Drama Mamas

Survey reveals what twinks are all about

This is interesting -- our friend Drayner over at Twinkinfo.com recently took a survey of his site's readers, and after picking up almost 1,000 replies, he's posted the results. They show a little bit of insight into the kind of person that plays a twink (a character maxed out at a certain level before 80, usually to run around in PvP battlegrounds). Specifically, they're male, under 21, play for 21-30 hours a week, think their gear rates a 5 out of 5, and are probably level 19 and in Warsong Gulch capturing flags. I'm not sure if that's suprising or not, but those are pretty safe majority votes, even given the smaller sample size of the poll.

Twink players are also more likely to not have more than one account, which kind of makes sense -- they only need one account and just have lots of characters on them. 66% of twinks are actually in twink guilds, and most have at least more than one twink to play around with. Hunters and Rogues top the class choices (though not with a clear majority at all). And perhaps most interesting, over 50% of twinks say Blizzard is serving them just fine -- they're not ignoring them, and they're not giving them any more love than other players. Still, as Drayner pointed out to us, about 36% of twinks said they'd leave the game if Blizzard shut them down with an additional 30% saying Maybe, so Blizzard does have a little incentive there to keep twinking happening.

Quite interesting -- twinks might be one of the only groups of players who are completely fine with how they're being handled in game. 2.3 obviously gave them lots of new items to play with, and while there is some frustration from other players, Blizzard has made it so easy to level that if you don't want to play with the twinks at 19, you can move on pretty quickly.

Filed under: Hunter, Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, PvP, Alts

Breakfast Topic: The oldest WoW player you know


World of Warcraft seems to pull in players from the very young, to the fairly old. While the younger ones are generally pretty vociferous about themselves, a lot of the older players don't run about advertising it. (Note: I'm not making a judgement call on play-styles. I've met adults who can't spell to save their butt and younger folks who are not only eloquent, but highly-intelligent theorycrafters.) So when we got a mail recently from Pamela who told us she'd be turning 50 later this month, she wondered who the oldest people we knew were. There were a few writers who chimed in....

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

POLL: Age-o-meter


Some of the best and worst times I've had in WoW have come from playing with people who were not anywhere near my own age. My very first WoW friend was 20 years younger than me and we had a blast. In fact, I ended up playing with her sister and her parents too. But just yesterday I was reminded that sometimes age does matter when I pugged with a bunch of, well, real doofuses (doofii?) whose every other comment was a poop joke. I have never before logged in mid-air while between flight paths, but that's how much they annoyed me. I'm sure that some of my comments that start with "Dude..." or contain the phrase "teh awesome" are just as annoying to other people. So, anyway, it got me to wondering about the game's age ranges. I think everyone assumes that most people who play the game fall into their own age group so I thought it might be fun to find out how the ranges really do break down -- at least for folks who read WoW Insider. So spill it! No one will know what you answered, but it should be interesting to see the results.

Age-o-meter: How old are you?
Kidlet40 (0.3%)
Preteen52 (0.3%)
Teen3011 (20.0%)
Twenties7525 (50.0%)
Thirties3402 (22.6%)
Forties751 (5.0%)
Older than that254 (1.7%)

Filed under: Polls, Analysis / Opinion

Missing teen found after she ran away with her 27 year old WoW boyfriend

Morgon Douglas Jones, a 27 year old gamer, is going to find himself in a lot of trouble. He ran off with a 14 year old girl he met through WoW. They were found safe in a campground in Franklin County, Washington. We (and several of you commenters) have covered age related issues before: from age restricted servers to youths applying to raiding guilds.

I am amazed at some of the creeps who play this game, and Morgon Jones definitely falls into that category. 27 years old and running off with a 14 year old girl he met through the game. It's time for him to get outside and enjoy life while he still can, since hopefully there'll be some good ol' prison time coming his way.

Reader Basic sent us the tip for this story posted on the KTVB.com website, and you can read the full article over there. There is an error in the article however, where the author says WoW is a science fiction based game, when it is actually a fantasy game (unless the author was making a critique on Outlands being too SciFi for the game, but that's highly doubtful and not given at all in the context of the article).

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items

Tips for the youths applying to guilds this summer

This time of the year brings with it an influx of guild applications from the younger crowd. These applications are often done with zeal and lust for a summer's worth of gaming that is unappreciated by adult players. After all, school's out and what better way to enjoy the good weather than to spend it sitting in front of a computer screen?

My guild in particular has seen an increase of the 15 to 18 year old crowd applying to raid with us. Unfortunately many of these applications are not on par with what we're looking for in raider's gear and experience (we're done with the Black Temple and Mount Hyjal, and are working on the Sunwell). Everyone is also 18+ in our guild, and we'd like to keep it that way.

However, we have seen a couple of applications come our way that have stood out from the rest. While these people are young, they have shown excellent communications skills, along with solid understanding of their class and raid awareness. While we have covered applying to a guild before, I think it would be appropriate to talk for a moment about some tips for the younger crowd trying to get into a guild this summer.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

What's your guild's age spread?

One of my favorite WoW podcasts(besides our very own, of course) is Casually Hardcore from WoW Radio. They're a very fun bunch and they cover the topic of age fairly often in their fan mail.

I realize a lot of young people play WoW, but I haven't had much direct experience with the really young crowd. As far as I know, I've only played with someone under 16 a couple of times since late 2004. I'm 21 now, and I'm actually the third youngest person in my guild, and there's only a few others younger than I am in our entire guild alliance. We probably just fall short of 200 people across all of the guilds, so the idea of people so young playing WoW is actually quite strange to me. I see parents saying "AFK, my daughter needs me" more often than kids or teens saying "sorry guys, I have school in the morning."

While there are definitely mature younger people playing WoW(I like to think that I was/am one... maybe) but I haven't honestly had much experience with the younger crowd at all. I'm willing to bet money that my guild's average age is somewhere in the high 20s. What about you guys, willing to take a guess? Is your guild younger? Older? A mix of all sorts?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends

Gamers on the Street: WoW as child's play


Gamers on the Street logs onto U.S. servers to get the word from the front on what's going on in and around the World of Warcraft.

How young is too young to play WoW? We've discussed the ups and downs of grouping with kids quite a few times over the years, but the topic – like the kids themselves – just won't go away. Earlier this week, we interviewed an 11-year-old SSC raider and his mother. While most reader comments applauded the family for a disciplined, sensible approach to online gaming, a few readers seemed confused or even aghast that someone so young would be allowed to play World of Warcraft.

Gamers on the Street decided to pop in on Bloodscalp, a high-population PvP realm with what one supposes would be a correspondingly tough outlook on kiddie action. We surveyed several level 70 players at random, asking them about their own experiences with children in game. The consensus: Jerks come in all shapes, sizes and ages -- and children and teens are no better or worse than their adult counterparts. Hear out their reasoning, after the break.

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Filed under: WoW Social Conventions, Features, Interviews, Gamers on the Street

Is it time for age restricted servers?


Anyone who has been playing WoW for a bit knows that this game is unique in that both adults and children can enjoy it at the same time. Indeed this duality can be considered one of the best features of the game. How often can you sit down with your son or daughter and truly enjoy the same video game? Besides the amazing adventures of Dora The Explorer, other kid friendly games like Disney Online's Toon Town and Club Penguin just don't provide the same level of enjoyment for adults and their children. (What's the game in Dora, you ask? Assisting her in finding the red berries or yelling at Swiper. See this not-safe-for-work Kevin Smith YouTube excerpt for an explanation.)

However with that in mind, there are some compelling arguments that its due time for World of Warcraft to get a few age restricted servers.

For starters, take a look at what Second Life has done. They're a pretty successful venture, and have a lot of parallels to MMORPGS like WoW. They've created a server called Teen Second Life in which they do their best to only allow teenagers between the ages of 13 – 17 access. When you turn 18 you're moved up to the adult server along with all your gear and property. Of course this has the same pitfalls as any other internet site where you can fake your identity, but it is a start; and a good one since Linden Labs actively polices age restrictions.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Guilds, Odds and ends, News items

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