Nearly 6 Million Years of World of Warcraft Healthy for Players' Brains

A number of recent research studies conducted on games and gamers have found a generally positive trend in the effect that gaming has on players' brains, the Wall Street Journal reports. Not only is World of Warcraft good for senior citizens brain function, it's good for a lot of other groups as well.

Some of the studies covered in the article are at this point well known, while some are newer. The general trend, they observe, is that gaming seems to be good for you, and increases creativity. One study they cite found:

Almost any computer game appears to boost a child's creativity, researchers at Michigan State University's Children and Technology Project reported in November.

A three-year study of 491 middle school students found that the more children played computer games the higher their scores on a standardized test of creativity-regardless of race, gender, or the kind of game played.

Mixed in among all the research findings, however, the article also drops one particularly mind-boggling statistic:

By one analyst's calculation, the 11 million or so registered users of the online role-playing fantasy World of Warcraft collectively have spent as much time playing the game since its introduction in 2004 as humanity spent evolving as a species-about 50 billion hours of game time, which adds up to about 5.9 million years.

That's very nearly six million years of World of Warcraft played worldwide. How fortunate we are, then, that these moments seem to rewrite the brain in a positive way, and not a negative one.

When Gaming Is Good for You [Wall Street Journal]