top of page

Videogames For a Better Life?

Did you know that gaming can have positive emotional benefits in the senior population?

Yes, it certainly can. For instance, 45 senior citizens in Singapore who ranged in age from 56 to 92 played Wii for more than six weeks. In contrast to the control group, who played conventional board games, the findings showed that playing video games, particularly Wii, had a favorable effect on their general wellbeing. (Jung, Y., Li, K. J., Janissa, N. S., Gladys, W. L. C., & Lee, K. M., 2009).

Hands of younger woman teaching senior man how to use a remote control to play videogames

Another example can be seen in a study led by North Carolina State University where the main focus of the research was to evaluate the psychological functioning of older people who play digital games to those who did not, in order to identify any variations in well-being.

A sample of 140 seniors was used for the study with an average age of 77 years. Three categories of participants—Regular, Occasional, and Non-gamers were created. As a result regular and Occasional Gamers performed better on average than Non-gaming Older Adults in terms of well-being, negative affect, social functioning, and depression.

According to research, playing may be a healthy activity linked to effective aging. Moreover, some videogames that senior may benefit from are Nintendo Wii, Super Mario Bros, and Wordscapes.

Lastly, more research needs to be done to really comprehend if gaming has the potential to improve mental health in the senior population.


Allaire, J. C., McLaughlin, A. C., Trujillo, A., Whitlock, L. A., LaPorte, L., & Gandy, M. (2013). Successful aging through digital games: Socioemotional differences between older adult gamers and non-gamers. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(4), 1302-1306.

Jung, Y., Li, K. J., Janissa, N. S., Gladys, W. L. C., & Lee, K. M. (2009, December). Games for a better life: effects of playing Wii games on the well-being of seniors in a long-term care facility. In Proceedings of the Sixth Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment (pp. 1-6).

bottom of page