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.
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.