Strategy Builds Youth's Focus, Puzzles Sharpen Seniors' Memory

Games can be a valuable part of mental well-being at any age.

A new study looked at how playing different types of video games affects people's ability to remember things and ignore distractions. The study included 209 young adults (18–30 years old) and 181 older adults (60–81 years old). Participants were asked about their gaming habits and then given a memory task. Here's what the researchers found:

Young adults who mainly played strategy and action games were better at remembering things than non-players. But when looking more closely, only the strategy part of the games helped improve memory and the ability to ignore distractions. Action games didn't have the same effect. 

Playing puzzle games helped older adults remember things just as well as younger adults. This suggests that puzzle games might be a useful way to keep the mind sharp for older people.

This study provides an interesting insight into how video games, often seen as entertainment, can have practical benefits for mental agility and focus across different age groups. It also emphasizes the need to examine the individual components of games to understand their effects on cognition more accurately.

Games are not just for entertainment; they offer substantial cognitive benefits tailored to different age groups. The study could help design games that are tailored to different age groups, improving cognitive skills like memory and attention.


Cutting J, Copeland B, McNab F. Higher working memory and distraction-resistance associated with strategy (not action) game playing in younger adults, but puzzle game playing in older adults. Heliyon. Published:August 11, 2023 DOI:


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