Who says online gaming is just for the young. Those who are young at heart, but chronologically old, also might be set to enjoy and benefit from gaming.
More are taking up the challenge of online gaming and attest to enjoying the interactive approach of this technology.
The Digital Australia 2012 (DA12) found that the average age of Aussie video gamers was increasing, with it sitting at 32 in 2012. Of these are large % spend at least 1 hour gaming per day (59%) . Of course true to stereotype gamers are predominately young, 94% are aged between 6 to 15 years but there are signs that this is changing …
One older player says he became ‘hooked’ on gaming at the age of 61. It is the social side of gaming that spurs on his addiction and he is not alone. The same report found that there is a group, and it is not insignificant, in the older aged bracket who play games, 43% of those aged 51 or older play video games.
Gaming help health ageing – how you ask?
Well for starters they are purported to
- stimulate thinking and encourage problem solving
- be a source of social interaction, exercise, and fun
- improve memory, reasoning, analysis and the process of thinking
- help with depression, sense of place and relevancy among the older population
- help improve split-second decision making, hand-eye coordination, and, in some cases, auditory perception
These results and the social connections and cognitive challenges have the potential to provide some useful therapeutic tools to address many of the challenges of ageing. Recent project includes the Verve Project which aims to utilise
“3-D Web graphics and serious computer games to help vulnerable people carry out daily activities in a fulfilling and dignified manner.”
What the skeptics say
There is some skepticism among the many claims of the benefit of gaming and many calls and funding for research into what games, if any, work best to achieve the best outcome. For them to work some argue “true brain exercise requires novelty, variety, and increasing levels of challenge,”
Technology is impacting in many ways on our ageing journey – gaming will be one of the many options that will keep us all young at heart and connected us to new and exciting networks.