But is it the video game or staying alert and involved that is key?
My 16 year old son was delighted to see the media attention given to the research study report that video games have the potential to sharpen the minds of older adults and help them "age gracefully." Video games are thought to exercise the brain and improve memory, concentration, and physical response (eg, reflexes).
There are three aspects of video gaming that may be linked to strengthening cognition: attentional demand (eg, the need to pay attention and react), novelty or the newness of the situation that requires developing new skills, and social interaction. People who engage with others have higher levels of cognitive function.
Fortunately, the researchers in this field point out that there are a number of ways--not just video gaming--that may maintain and even improve cognitive function and fight aging. Some examples are learning a new language, going bowling, playing card games that require skill or memory, etc.