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Video Games Can Help Seniors Maintain Their Overall Well-Being

by Sarasota Bay Club

In a world where many products claim to be enjoyable for all ages but fail to live up to the hype, seniors have discovered a hidden gem: video games. These interactive experiences offer a multitude of benefits that keep people of all generations engaged, active, and content as they age.

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What Are the Benefits of Gaming?


Research has consistently shown the positive impact of video games on emotional well-being. In fact, a study revealed that seniors who regularly or occasionally engage in video games experience an enhanced sense of well-being, improved social functioning, and better self-reported health compared to non-gamers. Furthermore, gamers also reported lower levels of depression than their non-gaming counterparts. 


A study conducted by a team from the University of Montreal states that 3-D platform games (like Super Mario) can help to avoid cognitive impairment and can possibly reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease. 

The study suggests that playing these games regularly may increase grey matter in the brain's hippocampus. Grey matter is found in the regions of the brain that function in muscle control, sight, hearing, emotions, speech, and decision making. Preserving grey matter is important because we tend to lose it as we age. 



Video games provide a dynamic platform for fast decision-making, engaging the brain in problem-solving activities. This "brain exercise" has been observed to not only enhance older adults' ability to walk for fitness and recreation but also alleviate pain and improve hand mobility for arthritis patients. Moreover, the advent of physically active video games offers seniors an opportunity to engage in legitimate cardiovascular workouts while immersing themselves in captivating gameplay.


Video games are a social activity that keeps seniors engaged with family and friends. Some people have the tendency to isolate themselves as they grow older. This isolation has negative effects on their overall well-being. Video games offer a way to spend time with younger family members which provide priceless bonding time that is good for all aspects of health. Game playing also gives older adults the chance to bond with new and old friends to keep their social life happy and healthy. 

The Type of Game Matters

The specific benefit of playing video games can vary with the type of game. As mentioned earlier, 3-D platform games can aid in a number of cognitive functions and the development of new grey matter in the brain. Additionally, memory and puzzle games are effective therapy for aphasia, which is a disorder that prevents people from understanding or expressing speech.  

Complex strategy games, like the classic multiplayer World of Warcraft, are observed to improve both spatial ability and cognitive focus. 

Which Game Consoles Are Good For Seniors?

There are more options for gaming now than ever, and seniors can take advantage of each one. 

Mobile Devices

Apple and Android devices put thousands of games at our fingertips. There are many great gaming options that are easily downloadable. A mobile device gives older adults the ability to reap the benefits of gaming from any location at any time. 

Nintendo Wii

Though the original Wii console debuted in 2007, it changed the face of gaming forever. This system was the first to implement successful motion control. This led to a whole generation of games that were not only fun but also physically engaging. Wii games give seniors a convenient and safe way to exercise while playing fun games. With a Wii console, they can enjoy bowling, yoga, tennis, and many other physical games from the comfort of their living room or activity area. 

Essentially, any console, computer system, or mobile device can be a good therapeutic tool for older adults. As long as it keeps them engaged mentally and physically, older adults will benefit from video game play. 

Scientific research has shown us the legitimate benefits that video games have for older adults. It is important for seniors to engage their brains consistently to ward off dementia, cognitive damage, depression, and a host of other things that threaten their health. 

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