This article is cross-posted from my school blog, Spring 2012.
A press release from North Carolina State University announced recently that a group of NCSU researchers have found that playing World of Warcraft is shown to improve cognitive functioning in older adults. Apparently, it’s more effective for those adults who scored particularly low on a cognitive “pre-test” than for those who scored higher.
This is a very interesting study in support of use of Virtual Learning Environments. While this particular study did not address younger adults or children, it stands to reason that MMOs (or at least WoW specifically) would have similar effects on younger people as well. I know from personal experience that I attribute several things directly to my experience in social gaming: staying calm under pressure, problem solving, and even faster/better typing skills!
What do you think? Is this study sufficient to drive schools to increase funding and research into multi-player online gaming?