The terms gaming and gamers have vastly different meanings today than they did when our seniors were young. In those days, games didn’t require any electricity to play. But just because games come in many different varieties today doesn’t mean that seniors are stuck on the sidelines watching other people play.
Seniors should absolutely join in on the fun!
There are multiple benefits backed by several scientific studies as to why seniors should be playing games in general in addition to video games. Here are but a few reasons why seniors should play video games:
1) Find things quicker: a 2012 study found that action video games improved the ability to quickly locate an item in a crowded space and track said item when the overall space is in motion. Being able to see specific stimuli more rapidly is also a good predictor of one’s driving ability.
2) Better at multitasking: if you’re playing a console game, you’re already multitasking. You’re using your left hand to manipulate directional movement of your on-screen avatar and your right hand to control specific actions to the game. Since games have multiple factors you need to monitor in order to make progress, your brain becomes more adept at responding to those factors.
3) Mental stimulation: Cognitive ability, like attention, working memory, and abstract reasoning, all tend to decline as we get older. Many studies have shown that playing video games improve all of those mental functions. In fact, a 2011 study found that video games not only lead to cognitive improvements, but a better quality of life for the elderly.
4) Having fun! Last but certainly not least is the fun factor. In a survey conducted by the Senior Care Corner, more than a quarter of seniors play games to have fun and relax. Sounds like a great reason to grab a controller and get in the game!