Believe it or not there is a whole new generation of online gamers, and they are seniors. Some people tag them as old aged pensioners but we know exactly who we are talking about. The very people who once shouted at their children for spending too much time in front of their monitors are now discovering the pleasure of online gaming. The media portray the stereotype gamer as a millennial sitting in their basement pad whilst their parents are busy upstairs.
But today there is a whole new breed of gamers who have decided to join in on the bandwagon and share the fun. A growing number of senior adults have found that some games are educational, fun, and actually provide them with certain health benefits. Don’t be fooled by your grandparents pretending they are not tech-savvy, they are just as capable of turning on and playing as their grandkids are.
The Growth in Numbers
It is impossible to quantify how many seniors are actually playing online games around the world, but a survey conducted by Big Fish Games five years ago came up with some amazing facts. Twenty-five percent of all gamers are now over fifty years old, that is a quarter of all online players! There is even a rise in senior tournaments so gaming communities can connect with each other all over the world.
The Reasons Seniors are Attracted
The survey also asked seniors why they had taken up gaming, and the initial findings were that video games relieved boredom (just like their grandkids). But further research shows that gaming actually helps their cognitive skills, memory, and mentally challenges them. Added to this is the aspect of fun, and the inclusion into the family unit to play games together. It is hardly surprising that there is a rise in senior video game addicts.
The Benefits for Senior Game Players
More research has been conducted on the benefits of gaming for seniors. And the University of Montreal discovered that gaming did indeed increase cognitive awareness and could aid in slowing the development of Alzheimer’s. The part of the brain that is associated with memory is called the hippocampus, and there was direct evidence that playing online games increased this grey matter significantly.
Also it has been shown that regular game playing can benefit other areas of the mind and body. Such as selective attention, visual-motor tracking and the memory. The key to seniors benefiting from playing games was not to stick to the same game, but to vary the types of games that they played. This increased stimulation of the brain and added new learning skills which in turn aided the memory. Other improvements that have been seen are better auditory perception and greater coordination between the hand and the eye.
Whether or not seniors are aware of the benefits of gaming, or if they have just turned to the popular online pastime for fun, it cannot be denied that the senior gamers are a new force in online video game playing. And who knows maybe in the future you will be watching their skills in televised tournaments.