Say what? Yep, I said it.
I have some reasons to list off as well.
1. It's real time learning with consequences, and a reward system for making the correct move, and the correct choice. For instance in scholarly learning the rewards are a good grade in a test, and a good grade in the class overall. These rewards can takes days, weeks, and months to happen. While with classic gaming the rewards are immediately recognizable, and are immediately given.
2. Many games require a new skill set in order to be very good at them. Because of this the brain constantly is in a state of learning. There is always a new problem to solve, and a new movement to master. If you play Galaga, Donkey Kong, Frogger, Q*Bert, Nibbler, Centipede, Donkey Kong 3, Congo Bongo, Super Zaxxon, among many others you will get a very unique and challenging experience where information you learned from the other games will not have much help to you.
3. There are thousands of classic games. So in the end, no one will be able to master every single classic game known to man. It's humanly impossible. That's why we have so many different world record holders for all these great games.
4. I can't think of another activity that has real time learning, and rewards, and constantly gives you a different type of skill set to master.
With almost everything else I know the skills you learn are transferable. The skills you learn in chess are transferable no matter who you play. The skills you learn in math are transferable no matter what level of math you are in. The skills you learn in cooking are transferable to other dishes you cook. The skills you learn in pinball are transferable to other games of pinball.
The skills you learn in Donkey Kong are not transferable to Galaga. The skills you learn in Galaga, and Donkey Kong are not transferable to Frogger. The skills you learn in Galaga, Donkey Kong, and Frogger are not transferable to a game of Nibbler.
So for me, I really think classic gaming is the best way to keep a mind in shape as we get older.
So there it is. I said it.