Young Brains and Games Transference


The Y in my A to Z of gamification looks at the concept of ‘transference’ from games experienced in two different generations that researchers have been looking at; Generation Y and to the brain’s youthfulness in older generations.

In over 60s, a study conducted by the University of California found improvements to multi-tasking after playing the game they designed, called NeuroRacer.

But after receiving just 12 hours of training on the game, spread over a month, the 60- to 85-year-old study participants improved their performance until it surpassed that of 20-somethings who played the game for the first time.

The training also improved the participants’ performance in two other important cognitive areas: working memory and sustained attention. And participants maintained their skills at the video game six months after the training had ended.

UCSF Study

Meanwhile, the pervasiveness of games in generation Y, has created a track of research that looks at gamer’s reported blurring of reality and games in to their lives. With examples such as:

“I had been playing Mass Effect 2 for 7 h, my mum walked into the room and said something. I paused for about 5 s looking at her waiting for a wheel of options to appear” (PricelessWil)

“Sometimes get my Sims mixed up with people. ‘remember when you’….oh no, wait, that was my Sim” (Lorela)

Prezi by Angelica de Gortari

It’s something researchers at Nottingham Trent University have called Games Transfer Phenomena.

Whether its through deliberate or inadvertent transference from games, these studies are helping to widen our understanding of the way games get into our brains.

The path runs both ways

So enough of the academic stuff. Showing us that game designers know how to put brainwaves back into games, here is Lat Ware’s awesomely named “Throw trucks with your mind”.

It was successfully funded on kickstarter last year and due for release in 2014.

You’ll fight entirely through NeuroSky’s MindWave headset peripheral that reads the electrical activity of your brain. Your weapon is the world around you and the various psychic manipulations you can perform on it to clobber others.

This is the only game where you can kill your friends by thinking of puppies

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