Older Adults Who Play Video Games Feel More Positive and Happy

First Posted: Mar 06, 2013 02:08 AM EST

Despite the controversies over the content of video games, there is a huge surge in the number of avid video game enthusiasts.  It's not just young people who are the primary market for video games; the average video game addict is a 35-year-old adult.     

It could be because video games have a significant benefit for older adults. Researchers at the University of North Carolina State have come up with an interesting finding which states that older adults who play video games have higher levels of emotional well-being.

The study was conducted on 140 people belonging to the age group of 63. The researchers asked them whether or not they played video games and if they did, how often they played. The participants were divided into three groups: 'regular gamers' who played once a week, 'occasional gamers' who played less than once a week, and 'non-gamers' who didn't play video games.

The researchers assessed the participant's emotional and social well-being with the help of a battery of tests.

The found out that those participants who played video games, including those who played video games occasionally, had higher levels of well-being when compared to those who never played any games. The non-gamers had more negative emotions and showed higher levels of depression.

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

The paper, "Successful aging through digital games: Socioemotional differences between older adult gamers and non-gamers", was published online this week in the Computers in Human Behaviour.

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