Who says online gaming is only for the young. Those who are young at heart, but old in years, also might enjoy and benefit from gaming.
More older people are taking up the challenge of online gaming. They are enjoying the interactive approach of this technology.

Video Gaming in Australia

Digital Australia 2012 (DA12) say that the age of Aussie 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. They also found that there is a large group of older adults who play games, 43% of those aged 51 or older play video games.

Other older gamer speak of it being “relaxing” or stimulates their thinking. These are benefits which could aid active and healthy ageing.

The bitbag website shared the profile of a few older gamers who love the gaming experience.

Gaming supports health ageing – how you ask?gameification

Well for starters it

  • stimulate thinking and encourage problem solving (1)
  • be a source of social interaction, exercise, and fun
  • improve memory, reasoning, analysis and the process of thinking (2)
  • help with depression, sense of place and relevancy among the older population (3),
  • help improve split-second decision-making, hand-eye coordination, and, in some cases, auditory perception (4).

There are benefits from online gaming. They could provide answers to some of the problems of ageing. Recent initiatives like the Verve Project aims to utilise online gaming in this way

“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 skepticism around the claimed benefits of gaming. Others are calling for research funding into what games, if any, work best to achieve the best outcome. If gaming to provide a benefit some say that “true brain exercise requires novelty, variety, and increasing levels of challenge,” 
Technology is impacting our lives in many ways. Gaming will be one of the many options that will keep us all young at heart and connect us to new and exciting networks.

Are you a gamer – let me know what you enjoy about this hobby?

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