No sooner than two 70-year-old FPS enthusiasts pop up than we also find, in the journal Psychology and Aging, a study suggesting that older folks might benefit from playing strategy-intensive video games.
A study of 40 adults in their 60s and 70s found that, after playing Rise of Nations, they "improved their scores on a number of tests of cognitive functions." The lead researcher also says that, for older adults, "playing video games with (your) grandkids would also be a great idea." But before Grandma goes out to curbstomp Timmy in Gears of War 2, remember this is the first study to make these kinds of findings and suggest such benefits for older persons.
They note that more research is needed to bolster the findings. It's unclear if other games would have the same benefits, or if they persist over time.
The news here is not so much that video games are some magical anti-senility exercise — just that they can be mentally and intellectually stimulating, the same as (presumably) reading, doing crossword puzzles, enjoying the arts, arguing with your in-laws, or other pursuits that call upon critical thinking. I'm sure all of those other things would be considered a good way to keep your mind sharp as you get older. Nice to know that, when I hit 65, games will be waiting to help me get to 100 with mine intact.
Video Games May Do the Aging Brain Good [Reuters, which is not pronounced "Rooters."]