Should Older Generations Play Video Games?

There is a misconception that gamers are your stereotypical lazy teens/Gen Z/Millennials type who are lax with hygiene and need to get a job and live their lives in the real world. While this might be true for a small proportion of gamers, in actual fact, there is a wide community of pc gamers whose ages span from the young right through to the boomer generation.

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As Bernard George Shaw once said “Youth is wasted on the young!” but pc gaming most certainly isn’t a waste of time on the young or the old.

What Is So Appealing About PC Gaming to The Older Generations?

Many of your younger Boomers being in their late 50s, they will likely have been one of the first generations to experience computer gaming in its infancy. Follow that up with you Gen X – the commonly misunderstood and ‘forgotten generation’. These latch key kids will have grown up letting themselves in and playing video games while waiting for older siblings or parents to come home from work instead of doing homework.

Many people in this generation will have grown up playing games and have since introduced their own children and grandchildren to the joys of gaming on their preferred platform.

The ability to get lost in a different world, solve problems and get that sense of accomplishment when you complete a level, hit a target or finish a game is something that keeps players coming back to gaming no matter how old they are.

Aside from enjoyment, why is gaming good for the older generations?

Over the years, there have been countless studies on the effects of gaming on people’s brains and cognitive functions as they age. As such, it is thought that much in the same way puzzles and brain training games and crosswords can help limit or slow the impact of dementia and memory loss, gaming can too.

So what are the impacts of gaming on our minds and bodies as we age?

Hand-Eye Coordination

Gaming requires your hands to be doing one thing while your eyes and brain do something else. Concentrating on the screen and getting your fingers to press the right button, keys, controls etc. without looking down means you can develop an extraordinary hand-eye coordination technique that will benefit you all through your life.

Social Interaction

Many games allow users to chat with others online while in gameplay. Many people, as they become older, can start to experience a loss in social activity for one of any different reasons. While the interaction may be solely online and for the most part anonymous, users can still get the same benefits from this type of communication and socialising as they would seeing people in real life or talking on the phone. Isolation and loneliness are often thought of as the silent killer in older people. Gaming can help reduce feelings of loneliness and invite the player into a community via gameplay.

Physical Activity

Not all gameplay is done sitting down or even lying in bed. Many games have been developed to help users become more active during gameplay, and as such, it can have a positive effect on their ability to remain. Active and in turn, it helps them retain their youthfulness for much longer than life without much activity.

Memory Improvement

Many of the studies carried out have been on the impact of brain training exercises in controlled environments. In such studies, participants were split into two groups, one a control group who watched educational videos and were quizzed afterwards and one who played brain training exercises on software programs. The ones on the control group scored much lower than the group playing games on the software.

It has also been noted that playing games online can help improve memory loss and reduce mild cognitive impairment.

What Should You Know About Gaming?

Much like with anything, gaming including PC gaming can be addictive, leading players to remain in-game mode for long periods of time. For this reason, you want to make sure you invest in the best equipment possible to make sure you get the most benefit from your set up but also to reduce the negative impacts gaming can have on your body. 

First up, you want to buy a gaming pc that can competently run your chosen games in the spec it was designed to be played on. Next up, you want to look at your set up. Every person has different requirements and creating a comfortable ergonomic gaming space will make sure that the player can feel comfortable while laying, and the risk of harm and injury has been removed or lessened. An ergonomic gaming space includes a gaming chair that is designed for long time use and supports the whole body. Placing the set up from direct heat sources so as not to overheat the equipment or the player. Allowing good airflow through the room to keep the computers and gaming systems cool and able to work properly. Blue screen filters will help to minimise exposure to the blue light emitted from screens.

Making sure that older players are taking breaks regularly, especially when they are playing inactive games is essential as is keeping them properly hydrated and they are eating regular meals.

When it comes to the type of games they should be playing, this is entirely subjectable. Initially, gameplay should be a fun experience and no matter what type of game they choose to play, it will no doubt have a positive boost on their mental capacity as they work to problem solve and complete the game as they play.

In conclusion; gaming can be an integral part of keeping people’s minds sharp no matter how old they are and making sure you have the correct set up for your particular circumstances will enable you to play your best for as long as you want and at any age.

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