News Article

Research Discovers That Old Timers Are Far Happier If They Game

Posted by Olly Jones

Video games are good for you after all

It's not just surgeons who benefit from a spot of video gaming - old people do, too. A newly published academic study has concluded that older people are happier and gained a higher level of well-being through frequently playing computer games — even if only for short spells at a time.

Researchers at the North Carolina State University learned that those that had video games in their lives didn't exhibit as much negative emotion or feelings of depression as those that didn't.

140 people aged 63 and over were quizzed on how often they played computer games, if at all. A series of assessments took place to determine their emotional and social well-being. 61 percent of participants gamed at least occasionally while 35 percent said they played once a week.

Dr. Jason Allaire, The project's lead professor of psychology, remarked:

The research published here suggests that there's a link between gaming and better well-being and emotional functioning.

Further studies for the team will try to ascertain if there is any evidence that video games actually improve mental health in later life.

The featured games and playing times of the studies were not specified, but the findings are certainly food for thought.

Next time you think of old people asleep in front of the TV, playing bowls and baking fruit cakes all day, keep in mind that they're psychologically more likely to prefer "pwning n00bs" on Call of Duty or battering brain-hungry beasts in ZombiU.

With the first gaming generation growing ever closer to old age, we can expect older people to become a larger gaming demographic.

From the web

User Comments (24)



DarkKirby said:

Having fun instead of sitting around doing nothing makes you happier? Research money well spent.



Jaz007 said:

I'm a be a happy old guy then, showing the youngsters how it's done.



KAHN said:

the other folks at my retirement home mock me for gaming, but they're all just a bunch of sports brutes, to be honest. i just don't think they've ever picked up a controller in their sad sad lives.



AlexSora89 said:

If I ever end up in a retirement home, I want a crapload of games to keep me busy until my time comes.

Thinking of this reminded me of the Simpsons episode featuring the "Funtendo Zii" - namely, the one where Lisa bought one for the retirement home, but the subsequentially hyperactive elders were too much for the nurses to handle, so they destroyed it. And it also reminded me of how someone put this as the "Dethroning Moment of Suck" for the series on Tv Tropes, and how I answered in that, sadly, retirement home staff that are "only in it for the money" are a sad reality.

Still, kudos to anyone who brings gaming to retirement homes everywhere!



MasterWario said:

"Next time you think of old people asleep in front of the TV, playing bowls and baking fruit cakes all day, keep in mind that they're psychologically more likely to prefer "pwning n00bs" on Call of Duty or battering brain-hungry beasts in ZombiU."

I dunno...doesn't necessarily mean they want to play violent games like Call of Duty or ZombiU.



hamispink said:

As you get older and you aren't able to do as much as you used to, having anything physical that you can easily do for fun is both empowering and uplifting.



WingedSnagret said:

Well, it seems like the first generations from when video gaming got fully off the ground will be just fine when they become seniors.



NintyMan said:

This is surprising and not-so surprising when you think about it. As you get older, you don't have the physical strength you used to have when you were a young un', so playing a video game in one spot with a controller or playing light motion-controls would help stimulate the mind and be fun too.



Chrono_Cross said:

Video games aren't good for you. In this case, older gentlemen and women get active by playing a simple game rather than sitting and watching television.

I prefer checkers.



bob1994 said:

I love the picture in this article! I actually wish more nursing homes would have and encourage their residents to play video games. I feel like less life would be sucked out of them...



banacheck said:

Notice what she has in her hand a Wii not a Wii U, 360 or Playstation, and old people are not going to play on a Wii U, 360 or Playstation. This is why the Wii was so popular because you had to move your body keeping you actively fit especially old people, not just sitting playing via a controller.



Zombie_Barioth said:

Nobody, young or old, likes being treated their age. Thats pretty much a fact of life.

As long as I can still hold a controller I'll keep on gaming, even if I have to go retro to do so. You can bet I'll teach those young ripper-snappers a thing or two about the old school too.



Number_6 said:

As a somewhat older guy and father of a 10 year old, I was irrationally pleased when one of my friend's told me his son refers to me as "The Game Master". I don't see any reason to stop gaming now or ever. Why would you really?

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