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Effects of Other Types of Games

While much of the study carried out in this area has concentrated on action video games, recent research shows that, in addition to action games, other forms of video games may also enhance some cognitive functions. In particular, while action video games emphasize the rapid allocation of attention to many different items in the world and enable players to respond quickly to avoid loss, another type of video games, real-time strategy (RTS) games, put emphasis on the aggressive maintenance of several different units, each with its own timing hierarchy and timetable.

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Using a similar approach to that used in action video game experiments, Glass, Maddox, and Love (2013) found that forty hours of RTS game testing resulted in substantial improvements in cognitive versatility (including task switching and working memory). Video Games 61 62 AME RC ICAN J O U R N A L O F P L A Y s F ALL 2014 Training on RTS games also helps elderly people battle age-related changes in cognitive ability (Basak et al. 2008).


Participants with an average age of seventy years who have been educated in the RTS game (Rise of Nations) for 23.5 hours have demonstrated a larger increase in the post-test than the control group on executive control measures—including transition of improvement to untrained role switching tests, working memory, and analytical thinking.