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Posts with tag older-gamers

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

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

15 Minutes of Fame is'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

WoW knows no age

As I was driving home from lunch today, I was thinking about (brace yourself) last night's episode of Grey's Anatomy. You may wonder how I'm going to steer this toward World of Warcraft, but bear with me for a second. I was really excited when I heard that Edward Hermann was going to be making an appearance this season, and thought maybe he would be filling the role of the replacement for Isaiah Washington's departed Preston Burke character. (No, you haven't browsed to TV Squad by accident. Hang on. I'm getting to a point.) As fans of the show recently found out though, this was not the case. Mr. Hermann's character Dr. Norman Shales was not to be an experienced, wise cardiac surgeon He was to be an intern learning to be a doctor after spending thirty years of his life as a pharmacist.

Last night as I watched Dr. Shales attempt to "relate" to the other interns and residents and attending physicians (who were all half his age) I suddenly realized that the reason I was enjoying this character so much (other than the fact I love Mr. Hermann's work) is that his role as Dr. Shales is really a metaphor of the experience of so many middle-aged and older players (including myself) in World of Warcraft.

I am fortunate to be in a fantastic mature guild where the median age is probably ten years higher than most, but I think I still rank among the top five oldest. Guild events aren't a big deal. The discomfort comes in interaction with folks -- who may be perfectly fine players -- who either can't believe somebody in their late thirties (or older) is playing World of Warcraft, or can't understand the way somebody in that age bracket thinks.

Even though I know I'm not the oldest World of Warcraft player in the world, I was encouraged (and amazed) to read this interview reposted on of an interview with an 80-year-old World of Warcraft player. (Be warned. The English is very, very rough because the interview is translated. I think "mad" is meant in a good way in it's frequent uses in the interview.) What's the oldest player you've seen in your guild or server? How do they contribute to your guild? How do you handle them differently?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Interviews

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