All we ever hear anymore is how video games are corrupting our youth, and must be burned. That’s why it’s nice then to see some real science looking into the benefits that playing video games provides to not only young people, but our elderly citizens as well.
A new study from North Carolina State University looked into how gaming affects the well-being and positive outlook of the elderly. The results, which were published in this week’s Computers in Human Behavior, found that gaming may actually help the elderly stay positive.
The study, which consisted of 140 participants aged 63 or older, focused on three groups of people – regular gamers, occasional gamers and non-gamers. The interesting part is that 61 percent of the participants said that they played games occasionally, while 35 percent said that they played at least once a week. Grandma is definitely getting in her weekly Wii Bowling, or whatever the ol’ gals at the nursing home are into these days.
After it was all said and done, those who regularly or occasionally played games “reported higher levels of well-being.” Those who did not play games “reported more negative emotions and a tendency towards higher levels of depression.”
Dr. Jason Allaire, lead author of the study, had this to say on it:
“The research published here suggests that there a link between gaming and better well-being and emotional functioning. We are currently planning studies to determine whether playing digital games actually improves mental health in older adults. ”
The study isn’t saying that people, including the elderly, need video games in their lives to remain happy. There are plenty of other ways to lead a fulfilling life. Games are just one of many options we have in today’s modern world to make us happy.