A recent study conducted by the Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada, has used StarCraft II to demonstrate how our cognitive performance deteriorates once we reach the age of 24.
The study measured the performance of over 3,000 gamers ranging in age from 16 to 44, and found that there was a considerable slowdown in reaction time among those in the 24-and-over group – a factor that seems to increase as the individual gets older.
Though it may sound like a grim prospect for the older folks among us – I myself being in my early 30s and knowing all too well the humiliation of being pwned by young’uns – all hope is not lost. The same study found that the older brains do what humans do best, and that’s adapt. Players of more advanced years were apt at developing simpler strategies and streamlining their reaction time with mastery of keyboard shortcuts. Enough so that they were still a fair challenge and largely retained their skill.
You can read the paper here for yourself, though be warned it’s quite lengthy and gets rather technical.