Older Gamers, Play On

Mar 6, 2013

Researchers at N.C. State say playing video games might have positive psychological effects later in life.  A report released this week says a study of people who were 63 or older found those who play video or computer games at least occasionally reported more positive emotions in a mental health survey than those who don't.

Surveys showed older adults who play video games scored higher on well-being tests than those who don't.
Credit Anne McLaughlin / ncsu.edu

"There's a whole gaming industry that's focused on the 12-year-old to 21-year-old demographic," says Dr. Jason Allaire, lead author of the study.

"And really there is a huge up-and-coming proportion of the population in the Baby Boomers that have played games, do play games and are going to be wanting to purchase these games."

Allaire says his team needs to conduct more research to determine if video games actually improve mental health.  He says N.C. State is working with Georgia Tech to develop a game specifically designed to improve cognitive functioning.