MMORPG and brain fitness
There have been a lot of studies trying to link games like chess, crossword puzzles and brainteasers to improved cognitive performance (or reduced cognitive decline) but as far as I know, this is the first one that looks at how these massive multiplayer online role playing games effect a user’s brain. And not surprisingly, they found that the results were more or less the same: playing games keeps the brain fit. Here is a little excerpt from their study:
The researchers found that, as a whole, the WoW group saw a greater increase in cognitive performance than the control group, though improvements tended to vary on a person-to-person basis. Interestingly, the volunteers who saw the greatest improvements in cognitive abilities were those who had scored lowest on the initial, baseline test that had been administered two weeks prior.
In other words, explains [Jason] Allaire [of the Gains Through Gaming lab], “the people who needed it most saw the greatest improvements.”