Once upon a time, video games were considered child’s play. They were those electronic gadgets that little kids played, while older generations reminded those within earshot that, “Back when I was their age, we didn’t have any of that stuff…we went outside and played!”
Like it or not, video games were not just a phase. They have improved drastically over the years and are now more popular than ever. The gamer demographic has also changed tremendously. Video games are no longer aimed solely at young children. In fact, the number of gamers ranging from age 5 to age 50 is astounding. Believe it or not, a customer survey conducted by PopGames, an online company with more than 150 million consumers, revealed that 47 percent of their players are over the age of 50.
Yes, the times have changed, and video games can truly be enjoyed by players of all…yes, ALL…ages. If you’re in the, let’s say…65 and over crowd…yes, we are talking to you!
While most play video games for the entertainment value they present, recent studies show that they also offer certain health benefits that should be of great interest to seniors. Those ages 60-77 who played certain video games for two hours a day for two weeks were shown to experience cognitive improvement.
In this particular study, those who scored lowest on the initial baseline study showed the greatest improvement to both cognitive focus and spatial ability following two weeks of gaming.
Those playing the right games are more likely to experience quicker thinking, faster hand-eye coordination, improve memory, better auditory perception and enhanced visual recognition skills.
But, how do you know which games are most effective? For pure entertainment purposes, the list of options is seemingly endless. However, the games that recent studies claim are most beneficial include the following:
Age of Empires, Brain Age, Flash Focus, Happy Neuron, NeuroRacer, Rise of Nations, and World of Warcraft.
These games are complex in various ways and serve as a workout for your brain, but you can’t just play it periodically to reap the rewards – you need to commit to playing the games on a regular basis, preferably every day, for an extended period of time (at least an hour or so).
Video games definitely aren’t just for kids anymore. This is a great opportunity to not only improve your mental health, but also enjoy an activity that you never have before. As an added bonus, maybe it’ll even give you something to talk with your grandchildren (and, perhaps, even your children) about!
© Lourdes-Noreen McKeen | 315 South Flagler Drive, West Palm Beach, FL33401 | 561.655.8544