Videogames Make Old People Less Depressed

Videogames Make Old People Less Depressed

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A recent study finds that seniors who play videogames report a better sense of well-being.

Senior citizens, that is, people over 60, have traditionally been one of the smallest videogame markets. New research from the North Carolina State University suggests that maybe they should put down the bingo pen and pick up the wiimote, finding that older adults who play videogames report higher levels of emotional well-being. Those who do not play videogames report more negative emotions and a tendency toward higher levels of depression.

140 people aged over 63 were involved in the research. First, they were asked how often they played videogames, if at all. 61 percent of the participants said that they played videogames. Of them, 35 percent said they played "at least once per week," and the rest said that they played "occasionally." They were then subjected to a series of tests that assessed their emotional and social well-being.

Both the regular and occasional gamers reported much higher levels of emotional and social well-being than those seniors who did not play games at all. The sample size is still a bit too small to be jumping to any solid conclusions, but it does show a clear correlation. The people involved are looking to further their research with more studies on the effects of videogames on older adults.

"The research published here suggests that there a link between gaming and better well-being and emotional functioning," says Dr. Jason Allaire in a press release. Allaire is the lead author of the paper describing the study and an associate professor of psychology at NC State. "We are currently planning studies to determine whether playing digital games actually improves mental health in older adults."

So, if you think your poor old grandma is feeling depressed, don't buy her flowers or knitting needles, buy her a DS instead.

Source & Picture: North Carolina State University.

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When I'm old, I'll still game.

Videogames are both psichiological and physical (in case of wii mote) stimuli. It is no wonder that elderly whose mind does not get the worklaod that the rest does need extra stimuli and this fills the niche well. good to get this confirmed.

also they shoudl read books on PC, modern monitors were proven to be less strain on the eyes than paper print, which is also often in relative dark too while the monitor is always bright enough. (maybe thats why i dont need glasses, i rather scan the book to get it into e-format than read a paperback one :D)

And next week: A study showing the increase in senior citizen gun-crime and the clear links to videogames.

And even though I'm joking, wouldn't Fox News just love it to be true...

Well, I wish the title of the story didn't confuse correlation and causation. It's a fundamental error, but far from surprising in journalism.

It's an interesting study, though the low sample size is one problem; another one is that the graphs are carefully rendered to make the maximum difference of 6 points in the mean scores look like a large jump. That difference might still be statistically significant, but there would need to be analysis of the test itself is as well as a good amount of number-crunching on the probabilities involved. My hunch says that the numbers are too low for this to be substantial evidence, but I'm limited in what I can research without forking over the money to read the paper itself.

Grouchy Imp:
And next week: A study showing the increase in senior citizen gun-crime and the clear links to videogames.

And even though I'm joking, wouldn't Fox News just love it to be true...

Considering that some polling places the average O'reilly viewer as old enough to collect on Medicare, I doubt they'll be touching any part of this story

(this comment made me lol at my desk. thanks :) )

Evil Smurf:
When I'm old, I'll still game.

I'll drink to that, mate. I'll be up in that category with ya.

I'm guessing feeling old doesn't allow you to have depression fixed by shooting thirteen year olds in the face. Shame really, it's apparently what a lot of kids do after playing video games.

My Grandad loves playing games.

He has a (working!) Commodore 64, SNES, N64, PS1, and an awesome gaming PC.

He's 68 and he seems pretty darn happy.

Grouchy Imp:
And next week: A study showing the increase in senior citizen gun-crime and the clear links to videogames.

And even though I'm joking, wouldn't the White House just love it to be true...

Fixed to cover for bias and lack of observation. Who, now, has been seeing video game violence everywhere, and ordered committees and executive action? I'm serious, the scapegoating needs to stop. Stop bashing some cable channel you dislike and actually watch the news. I'm not defending Fox "Mass Effect is porn" News, I'm redirecting you towards a REAL issue. Don't tell me one of the prime foci of the President-ordered, Vice President-run committee was not confirming video games as the root of youth gun violence.

Imagine that: Having fun makes you less depressed.

Evil Smurf:
When I'm old, I'll still game.

The Morning Suit Man:
I'll drink to that, mate. I'll be up in that category with ya.

Have pint on me you beautiful people! Gabe willing, may we still be here when we are image

Nieroshai:

Grouchy Imp:
And next week: A study showing the increase in senior citizen gun-crime and the clear links to videogames.

And even though I'm joking, wouldn't the White House just love it to be true...

Fixed to cover for bias and lack of observation. Who, now, has been seeing video game violence everywhere, and ordered committees and executive action? I'm serious, the scapegoating needs to stop. Stop bashing some cable channel you dislike and actually watch the news. I'm not defending Fox "Mass Effect is porn" News, I'm redirecting you towards a REAL issue. Don't tell me one of the prime foci of the President-ordered, Vice President-run committee was not confirming video games as the root of youth gun violence.

No, the focus of that study was appeasement, just like EVERYTHING ELSE Barry's done since taking office.

This study has it all wrong. Videogames make old people in to bloodthirsty killing machines, the media couldn't possibly be wrong on that. Stupid scientists with their facts and studies.

Well that's because they haven't played the ending of mass effect 3, badum tssss!

Nieroshai:

Grouchy Imp:
And next week: A study showing the increase in senior citizen gun-crime and the clear links to videogames.

And even though I'm joking, wouldn't the White House just love it to be true...

Fixed to cover for bias and lack of observation. Who, now, has been seeing video game violence everywhere, and ordered committees and executive action? I'm serious, the scapegoating needs to stop. Stop bashing some cable channel you dislike and actually watch the news. I'm not defending Fox "Mass Effect is porn" News, I'm redirecting you towards a REAL issue. Don't tell me one of the prime foci of the President-ordered, Vice President-run committee was not confirming video games as the root of youth gun violence.

It wasn't, at least not in at the level you are assuming it was. It was more a press stunt to let the public and their constituency know they were looking into all matters, including games.

No doubt they will follow through on that, but they'll only find what has been found for the past decade and longer. Games cause an increase in aggression/energy but not violence. All general TV "news" now is just sensationalist garbage. MSNBC is just as guilty of this as FOX is.

OT: I'm all for expanding the medium to give our elders something to do. Keeping an active mind and good spirits is very important, and I think games like Journey and Bastion are great things to share with everyone.

This is the case with my wife's grandmother. She's been bedridden and pretty depressed obviously but since my brother in law got her a wii, she's been having a lot of fun with it.

We've also found that after feeding her, she's no longer hungry.
Weird, huh?

Zombie_Moogle:

Grouchy Imp:
And next week: A study showing the increase in senior citizen gun-crime and the clear links to videogames.

And even though I'm joking, wouldn't Fox News just love it to be true...

(this comment made me lol at my desk. thanks :) )

No problem, I do what I can. :)

Nieroshai:

Grouchy Imp:
And next week: A study showing the increase in senior citizen gun-crime and the clear links to videogames.

And even though I'm joking, wouldn't the White House just love it to be true...

Fixed to cover for bias and lack of observation. Who, now, has been seeing video game violence everywhere, and ordered committees and executive action? I'm serious, the scapegoating needs to stop. Stop bashing some cable channel you dislike and actually watch the news. I'm not defending Fox "Mass Effect is porn" News, I'm redirecting you towards a REAL issue. Don't tell me one of the prime foci of the President-ordered, Vice President-run committee was not confirming video games as the root of youth gun violence.

See, what you've done there is take a joke seriously. I was making a flippant remark in passing, not venturing a serious social commentary.

So one day, when I'm old, withered, my goatee then a full beard to rival the old wizards of fiction, I might be able to enjoy my days playing games on whatever I damn well please with my pension.

Smashing.

*sarcasm* But I thought all video games do is create bloodthirsty killers who shoot children and make sane people go crazy. Why are the scientist creating such lies? *sarcasm*

This is potentially good news for my grandfather, who has been in the process of turning into a vegetable as of late. He's lost all interest in anything and spends most of the day in front of the TV. I'd love if we could somehow convince him to take up gaming as a hobby.

Now the important question is, what sorts of games do old people like?

Well, what a surprise...
Sorry, but as a gamer who will turn 66 this year, I find it funny as hell that these kind of things are reported as if it were the discovery of a new carrot-based lifeform able to use Smartphones...
I started gaming on an old Atari 400 membrane keyboard equipped computer.(?)
This week I am rediscovering my love for Lara Croft, slinking around in my Nanosuit in Crysis3, and am EAGERLY awaiting the release of Bioshock Infinite on the 26th...

Sound familiar anyone?

Enjoy the present, ride the shockwave into the future, and demand more!

DVS BSTrD:
Imagine that: Having fun makes you less depressed.

Evil Smurf:
When I'm old, I'll still game.

The Morning Suit Man:
I'll drink to that, mate. I'll be up in that category with ya.

Have pint on me you beautiful people! Gabe willing, may we still be here when we are image

Cheers bros.
image

Hooray! Less depression is good for everyone no matter HOW you look at it. Unless it's Brave New World style forced happiness. Then everything goes down the shitter. But this is entirely optional so hooray!

Video games these days tend to assume you're young. In the case of the older people I've seen game, I think its one of the few times in their life where they can be interacted with, and their elderly (and in their case, varying degrees of sickly) status doesn't matter.

For the elderly, their world can be so small and passive; video games can be an opportunity to enjoy the culture at large, and have an active part in doing so.

There are probably other things that make old people less depressed as well, if they can be bothered to do them. Like playing a musical instrument. So I'm not chalking this up as a health benefit of videogames before I can be sure it's not just they have motivation to do an enjoyable or stimulating activity at all rather than sit around.

 

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