Can people still play the same games as the older ones?

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With input speeds and response speeds required by fighting games, it is monitored with available data. “I notice that my reaction time could be a little slower,” Wong says. Although he quickly adds that he stays above the level of most younger players. “I can still react pretty well to most things even at the age of 35,” he adds. “People still don’t want to test my reactions.”

Of course, modern challenges in games are not just reactions. They also include more complex systems, as Westerholm realized, and this can be an even bigger hurdle for older players. Reimers explains that some elements of cognition decline even faster than reactions – in particular, “cost shifting”, the time added to our responses when multitasking. In experiments in which respondents must keep in mind two ideas at once, such as simultaneously saying whether the faces appearing on the screen are male or female i whether happy or sad, older people react disproportionately more slowly than younger people, compared to when they have to recognize only one trait.

These results suggest that something like dividing a second by the time of a competitive fighting game would become twice as difficult with age. “When you have to make decisions and you have a few things to press on, and you have to decide how you’re going to react, your speed hits even harder,” Reimers says. “It’s the same with things like split attention where you have to follow two streams,” he adds, which is another thing games often expect of us – moving and acting while monitoring benchmarks or coordinating with other players.

If it starts to sound like you might have to lower your controller by age 30, much less by retirement, that’s not all bad news. Reimers says that while some aspects of cognition slowly slow down or decline more sharply with age, there is a third type that remains flat or even improves: the “crystallized intelligence” of general knowledge. After all, more than 40 years of experience must be something important.

Mackey certainly believes that. “Raw mechanical skills or reaction time are just a small component of what makes someone work at a high level,” he says. Similar to some sports, he feels that old age can make up for youthful speed and skill. “Look at world champions like Randy Couture or George Foreman. They competed against much younger, more explosive athletes, but still won. Experience is a terrible attribute and advantage. “

And if it works to fight sports, why not to fight games? “Veteran players have a lot of tricks from older games that could be passed on as an aid in a tournament environment,” Wong says. “Think of it as one hat trick in which you can use a certain strategy to gain momentum against another player who may not have that much information.”

And there is always room for improvement, as shown by Aim Lab data. Although the practice is not perfect, it helps. “Improvement happens faster for kids ages 18 to 20,” Mackey says. “However, even in the age group of 41 to 50, we still see an improvement of 18 percent after one week.” Reimers had similar discoveries. Although he wonders if “brain exercise” exercises have an impact on improving skills in general, he notes that if one repeats a task over and over again, one certainly gets better at that task. And this seems especially appropriate for games, where we often have to perform the same actions over and over again.

Then one problem is that older players generally have less time to practice, but there are ways to adjust to that. David Kelly, 55, started playing with similar ones Pong,, Space Invaders, i Asteroids in the late 1970s. His tastes are still old-school – he prefers shots, arcade runners and multiplayer games that chase high scores. He is even the owner DX asteroids arcade closet. “My concentration was better when I was younger,” he says. “As I get older and as responsibilities arise, I don’t usually get absorbed in games.” But that didn’t stop him from achieving “one credit completion” (1CCs) on notorious shumps, a slow and steady approach. “Even though I’m not as fast as before, I play more intelligently and stick to one or two games at once,” he says. “I finished games like Giga Wing in the last 12 months which I could never have even thought of when I was younger. “



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