Why Should the Elderly Play More Video Games?
How would you react when that guy who fragged you in a match sounded a lot older than you’d expect? A 65-year-old person behind the screen is usually the last thing you’d think of. You’d be surprised that in 2017, as much as 43% of gamers in 13 countries age 36 and above. It’s more likely that the pandemic and other factors could bring this number higher now. Older people are learning to game. This is part of our reality as we move forward. Apart from the fun this digital escape brings, gaming brings significant health benefits to the elderly.
Here are a few cognitive, physical, and social benefits seniors can get from video games and similar virtual reality endeavors.
Games help your emotional well-being
Doing anything you enjoy promotes better emotional health. Meeting with friends, going out for a walk, or trying out a new hobby gets you in a better mood.
A 2019 study conducted among older Canadian adults concluded many benefits playing games either regularly or occasionally. Video games help them connect with friends who are in distant locations. They also help in bonding with family members, especially during multiplayer interactions. Older adult gamers are shown to deal with depression better than their counterparts who don’t play. It also helps them be more confident with dealing with different age groups, and it helps them be a least, a little less lonely.
Playing video games, even occasionally, helps exercise cognitive skills
Hand-eye coordination is important in dealing with most gaming content. This is important in solving many problems that will hinder players from progressing farther when playing. Some 3D games can even help reverse the aging process in seniors.
Many game titles will require you to memorize certain aspects in-game. “What item matches with the one I have?”, “Where should I go next?”, and “How should I go around this?” are often questions that come to mind when playing. These activities stimulate the brain, forcing players to remember what they need to do to finish stages. This memory exercise is transferred to tasks like remembering names, addresses, dates, and contact details. Games that require proper timing of multiple actions force you to switch quickly between tasks. This increases the mental flexibility and multi-tasking abilities among the elderly. It also helps as a tool to decelerate the effects of Alzheimer’s in some individuals.
Video games are fun
Always remember that video games don’t need to be competitive to be fun. Some prefer playing at their own pace, and there are a lot of titles that cater to them. Some like to be with company, but not to outdo each other. Being in the presence of friends and family gives seniors a livelier and more positive playing experience. You can compare scores with them playing their favorite mobile title, or have a great time over a round of VR sports. Seniors are recently becoming more confident in competitive atmospheres, with Sweden and later, Japan, establishing eSports teams made up entirely of older adult gamers. The gaming world doesn’t care how old you are, as long as you’re having fun.
There is a wide selection of games for seniors to try their hands (and eyes) with. Happiness is health, no matter the age. The above are the reasons seniors should not be shy playing more video games.