RISE OF THE SILVER GAMER
It’s not just teenagers who are obsessed with video games – up and down the country the older generation are grabbing the controls for themselves
video games, including those who only played occasionally, reported higher levels of well-being. Those who did not play video games reported more negative emotions and a tendency toward higher levels of depression.
‘The research published here suggests that there is a link between gaming and better wellbeing and emotional functioning,’ says Dr Jason Allaire, lead author of a paper describing the study and an associate professor of psychology at North Carolina State.
This research doesn’t mean we need to start spending hundreds of pounds buying our grandparents a Playstation or Xbox though. While these are of course good options, video games are also easily accessed through tablets, phones and laptops.
Games like the smartphone hit
matches users with another user, as they have to guess what the other is doodling. Many people play these games to keep in touch with loved ones who live far away, or to make new friends as games can be paused and picked up as and when they have the free time.
When Nintendo brought out the new Wii games console in 2006, they created a gaming platform that was more of a social event than just a solo activity. Increasingly these are being installed into retirement homes, where they hold a weekly golf or bowling tournament, giving the residents not only mental and physical exercise, but also the opportunity to meet their neighbours and make friends.
So next time a birthday comes around, instead of the usual chocolates or flowers, why not treat grandma or granddad to the latest video game. You might find they have a trick or two to show you.
ABOVE: It’s an opportunity to connect with all the family