Life & Culture

Research: Gaming Is Good For Your Mental Health


Videogames have gotten a bad rap, with most being blamed for lowering kids’ attention spans and some being seen as a root cause of violence. But just a couple of weeks after research suggested that using Facebook boosts brain power in older people, a new study claims that whether they’re played on a console or a computer, videogames aren’t just good for memory; they’re good for your psychological health, too – if you’re older.

The researchers asked a group of people age 63 and older how often they played videogames and then evaluated their social and emotional well-being.  Almost 50 percent of the participants said they had played in the past year; about one-third played at least weekly. Both the occasional and regular players reported feeling less depressed and emotionally more resilient than the non-gamers.  Why? Here’s what the lead researcher said:

“One possibility for these findings is that digital games serve as a source of entertainment, which may lower negative affect and depression and increase well-being.”

Many digital games are social – you play with one or more other people. We’re guessing that if there is, indeed, a cause-and-effect explanation for these new research findings, it might have something to do with the fact that playing with others is as important in grown-up life as it is in childhood.

Gaming-studyClick here to read the study summary.

Do you play videogames? Click here to check out a list of good mainstream games for seniors on Squidoo – and please share your favorite games in the comments below.




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