Is Your Brain Too Old For Video Games?

Is Your Brain Too Old For Video Games?

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Vintage arcade footage courtesy of:

Special thanks to Dreamhack Austin 2016:

Thank you to our commentators:

Thompson, Joseph J., Mark R. Blair, and Andrew J. Henrey. “Over the hill at 24: persistent age-related cognitive-motor decline in reaction times in an ecologically valid video game task begins in early adulthood.” PloS one 9.4 (2014): e94215.

Thompson, Joseph J., et al. “Video game telemetry as a critical tool in the study of complex skill learning.” PloS one 8.9 (2013): e75129.

Lewis, Joshua M., Patrick Trinh, and David Kirsh. “A corpus analysis of strategy video game play in starcraft: Brood war.” Proceedings of the 33rd annual conference of the cognitive science society. 2011.

ESA Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry 2016


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  1. MulleWin on June 29, 2022 at 11:19 pm

    Overwatch 😀

  2. MooseTash on June 29, 2022 at 11:20 pm

    I still remember playing Gauntlet Legends (ps1) about 24 years ago.
    Im 32 now and still love gaming, only problem is, I just don’t care enough about the competition of it any longer.

  3. Silver Ice on June 29, 2022 at 11:24 pm

    The reason is usually because our executive functions (including our working memory and spatial memory) age and become slower as time progresses. I don’t mind, I was a campaign player from the start. 😂Another problem might be physical: you might not have the same dexterity. Once you are diagnosed with a medical condition such as rheumatoid arthritis you might not be able to play at a sufficient level.

  4. Jesus Mendoza on June 29, 2022 at 11:25 pm

    I had a Xbox 360. And modded!!!… over 50 60 games and I gave it to my lil cousins in Mexico they where so happy hahaha I out grew it … True story

  5. PardonMyExistence on June 29, 2022 at 11:25 pm

    I am 23 and started fps, yes my teamates say "uninstall the game bro" but i enjoy playing even though i suck, i will get better i guess, or not but i like playing

  6. Bryce Long on June 29, 2022 at 11:27 pm

    I always thought this when fortnite came to prominence. All the older gamers who had played shooters since their younger days were fine with that aspect but since building was a completely new concept it felt like all the younger players were able to learn to build at a much more complex level

  7. Trump Lost LOL on June 29, 2022 at 11:27 pm

    There are a lot of strategy games that require a more mature brain. LOL

  8. Wagner Doering on June 29, 2022 at 11:30 pm

    very cool vid! I thought it was going on a complete different direction! hahaha

  9. SouthWestEndz on June 29, 2022 at 11:30 pm

    Its because where kids now are doing tournaments and all that adults in there 30’s have commitments, Jobs and kids they’d had so don’t have the time.. these kids now will be just as good in 10, 15 years if they maintain. But such is life.. the older you get the more obligations you have, and don’t forget the drive to maintain that level.. repetition after a long time eventually you get bored or no longer inspired or have the drive so naturally you’ll decline.

  10. Stim on June 29, 2022 at 11:30 pm

    I don’t feel like age is the factor that’s causing these older individuals to be worse at the game. I’m not very old, only 18 actually and I find myself hating competitive games I used to love (CSGO mainly) due to the fact that it puts more stress on a life that’s already full of stress (ACT scores, what I’m going to do with my life, working, etc). A year ago all I wanted to do was get better at these games, but now I find myself enjoying more story-focused single-player games such as the last of us and even occasionally an old COD campaign just to turn off my brain.

  11. AqworldsMew11 on June 29, 2022 at 11:32 pm


  12. L McQ on June 29, 2022 at 11:33 pm

    I am late to the conversation, but wanted to share a thought. The prefrontal cortex, primary role is executive function or abstract decision making, isn’t full developed until 24 or 25. That is the same age that the downhill slide began…. I wonder if there is a correlation?

  13. BlackCrow1016 on June 29, 2022 at 11:33 pm

    I drive in L shapes, across town. 🤣 And that games an experiment? So when does, an android, with a hyper speed flying car. And the drivers name, Centauri. Come pick me up, for a reigning high score. To go and help fight a war in nearby space?
    A.K.A. The last starfighter.

  14. Nushia on June 29, 2022 at 11:33 pm

    Cognitive overload? That’s just our past time over here.

  15. Ryan ChurastheMGTOW on June 29, 2022 at 11:34 pm

    This is why I prefer turn-based RPG games that don’t depend on speed. I just turned 40. It’s not fun for me if you have to rush.

  16. Lieutenant diamond on June 29, 2022 at 11:35 pm

    HAHAHAHAHA "GG Stay Curious"

  17. YoSolo on June 29, 2022 at 11:36 pm

    I think it depends entirely on which game the person is playing, I’ve been playing Call of Duty since I was a teenager, I’m now 31 and I still get a very similar K/D & Win ratios (if not slightly better) as I did when I was a teen but I now find myself looking for different challenges in games with more survival aspects such as DayZ, Fallout and games that are a bit more relaxing and not as intense, so that is probably due to life getting more hectic and more to think about IRL as you get older. Great informative video as always though!

  18. Anders Robertsen on June 29, 2022 at 11:38 pm

    I play fps games, right now I’m into insurgency sandstorm.
    I’m pretty quick, but I mostly rely on my ability to get the drop on enemies, flanking and getting around them.
    It usually doesn’t simply come down to who’s faster on the draw.

  19. Przemek Sz on June 29, 2022 at 11:39 pm

    in my 20’s i was better in games now im late 30’s and suck in games i was good

  20. Pukes Vigilante on June 29, 2022 at 11:39 pm

    Depends on the type of game really. Nowdays, I prefer a solo open world game like Skyrim where I can get lost in.

  21. PresterJohn on June 29, 2022 at 11:41 pm

    So many problems with the analysis of the competitive gamers and the average gaming age of 36. ‘Gamer’ could mean retro gamer, and it is probably considerably more likely the more mature gamers aren’t even playing the games they play at competitive events. Secondly, competitive gaming is a growing event. It is probably rather less likely mature gamers are even aware of it, let alone have conceived of becoming one. Thirdly, given the discrimination of anyone old by gamers (and other twits of this generation), they’re not likely to hire ‘boomers’. I don’t know what they look for when they make these teams, but I bet you they’re aiming for young gamers not ‘boomers’. Despite what gamers may like to think, there is probably a rather slimmer margin between good gamers and medium gamers than there is for professional sport, because games do not have the huge amount of variables that exist in reality. So if you’re given the choice between a young gamer and an equally competent mature gamer, which are you going to pick? This also goes with your other points (family, work, career). Are you telling me right now LeBron James at 37 is not kicking everyone elses butts in the NBA? He just had a 30 PPG season! At 37! His team may be bad, but he certainly isn’t. He’s God’ing about out there. Wait until these young kids grow into 35 years olds.

  22. I see you in my dreams on June 29, 2022 at 11:42 pm

    Joe : explains the video with Starcraft
    also Joe : plays overwatch instead

  23. omni gar on June 29, 2022 at 11:43 pm

    there are 2 kinds of people
    those who can extrapolate information from incomplete data

  24. Noele Veerod, the Cyber Mane on June 29, 2022 at 11:43 pm

    I used to start abhorring competition and multiplayer at around the age where this presumed peak is. Now, they still make me anxious, but I’m actually way more eager to just be amazing at those games I am interested in (less so with the others, but still).

  25. Mellissa Dalby on June 29, 2022 at 11:44 pm

    Video games didn’t exist when I was growing up, so YEAH, my brain is too old for gaming.

  26. Lizard000 on June 29, 2022 at 11:44 pm

    This is old so AMONG US

  27. Yog Batra on June 29, 2022 at 11:45 pm

    Who else Loved the GG

  28. V-G C on June 29, 2022 at 11:47 pm


  29. Mino on June 29, 2022 at 11:49 pm

    Proceeds to play Overwatch.

  30. Harley Alexander on June 29, 2022 at 11:49 pm

    I’m watching this deciding to get back into competitive FPS or not and then I’m blindsided with a passed legend. RIP TotalBiscuit.. 🙁

  31. J C on June 29, 2022 at 11:50 pm

    Kids got more time

  32. CharlesDarwin 1739 on June 29, 2022 at 11:51 pm

    I’m 24 and I didn’t started studying my ultimate subject, because I have left every program I got into ever since I was 17, and now my brain will only keep getting worse and worse at learning, 3 to 7 years of studies to go😭

  33. S.D on June 29, 2022 at 11:52 pm

    Gaming Is For Everyone Not Just 🧠💀👶…It’s For Grown Ups. 30 Years Of Gaming Calls Me Experienced Nothing I Don’t Know About Gaming 100s Of Games Not An Obsession Just A Pastime…👩🏻‍🦳🇬🇧👍

  34. RAFFAEL Reviews on June 29, 2022 at 11:52 pm

    True. Now that I have wife, kids, bills. It is very hard for me to play games like I used too when I was younger. I get proud of myself if I can at least play for an hour or even finish a game in it’s entirety! Actually my 2022 resolution is to complete at least 3 games!

  35. Hans Neijenhuis on June 29, 2022 at 11:54 pm

    this video shows 2 gamers who both died young 🙁 RIP biscuit 2:41 en geoff 6:03

  36. voice of Bartek on June 29, 2022 at 11:55 pm

    Do recombinate comics Fools. Problem is in you. I like my games, I simply do things that allow me to adapt to the new world of social media, the quick appearance of a friend in the internet chat line who has a different life, genetics, it cannot be excluded so easily, so some quick things need to be combined and games are great fun, regardless of whether they are very similar to each other, because games are meant to bring joy. I am telling you – go through comics, you will jump something in your brain and you will adapt to the world and the joy of games is already beautiful, it will be on my channel

  37. EEE on June 29, 2022 at 11:56 pm

    As an older gamer, I just don’t care enough. Having fun with a game, challenging myself – these become important. Looking at leaderboards is very depressing. Trying to beat a certain time against a group of a billion other players is a losing game. I know I’m average, no need to rub it in my face.

  38. N¡X on June 29, 2022 at 11:59 pm

    44 and still mixing young kids’ ish up in MK11

  39. Timothy Baeza on June 30, 2022 at 12:00 am

    As I’ve gotten older games have become less enjoyable i don’t usually play them that much.

  40. Surviving The Times on June 30, 2022 at 12:01 am

    I can see how older people in their 40s-60s are super interested in newer games now days. But I’m only 29 and don’t even feel interested in games now days. I just go back to the older games from 2012-2015.

  41. Cee Mill on June 30, 2022 at 12:02 am

    Imo, its not about age so much, but skillset. Some ppl have great reflexes and some don’t. Some have to practice more and other’s it just comes easy. I see gamers on YT or Twitch, under 40, some have struggles and some dont.

  42. Desu desu on June 30, 2022 at 12:03 am

    As someone who played video games at a professional level. You’ll certainly reach an age where you are too old. It happened to me around age 31. I practiced everyday for 7+ hours with my team and eventually had my contract released due to poor performance. I tried my hardest but hte reaction speed and efficineicy just wasn’t there anymore.

    I had no responsibilities, and played video games as a job…. the decline wasn’t noticeable overnight, but certainly over time. There’s a reason why you rarely see good e-sports players past around 25. They all transition to coaches as their reaction speed and APM etc are no longer competitive with younger talent. It’s just like real sports, 99% of professional athletes will be worse than they were at 20, than they were at 40 no matter how much practice and dedication they put into it.

  43. Frank on June 30, 2022 at 12:05 am

    maybe twitch-gaming is better for younger people, i bet turn based strategy isnt

  44. Brendzz on June 30, 2022 at 12:06 am

    young gamers are mostly bored and don’t find reality that exciting(school and staying home all day) older gamers are always working and doing things outside of the house, that’s why young gamers are better at competitive games cuz they have 100% focus and where it’s most exciting, older gamers have responsibilities and don’t have the focus younger ones do so they like to play more relaxed games

  45. zzzarkka on June 30, 2022 at 12:10 am

    “Multi-tasking, working memory, precision motor skills”
    That’s my job but I’m a server.
    Motor skills come into play when running food, drinks, or just simply navigating the restaurant with guests who walk slow when you’re in a hurry. lol. Very stressful.
    We’re like ants 🐜 running around lmao. Occasionally stepping over each other.

  46. Elijah Pittman on June 30, 2022 at 12:11 am

    I am 25 years old and I intend on being a gamer until the day I die

  47. mike le on June 30, 2022 at 12:11 am

    Old gamer and younger gamer the difference is older has more thing in mind and yes might be a lil slow cause just don’t have the time to play everyday that’s how I feel might be wrong but gamers always be gamers don’t matter the age differences

  48. Joe Richards on June 30, 2022 at 12:12 am

    I have found that as a child and teenager, I played dozens of different video games, but after my mid-twenties I shifted towards putting a greater focus on fewer games.

  49. Patricia Price on June 30, 2022 at 12:12 am

    Marvels at the youth of the players … BUT no commentary whatsoever on how everyone in this video – even the drawn figures – is male. SMH

  50. Nushia on June 30, 2022 at 12:16 am

    Better? I dunno if its just me, I can see them actually move slower than me most of the time.

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