Video Games Are Good For Your Mental Health, Especially Seniors

It seems like most of the studies involving video games have to do with trying to link real-world violence with violent video games (intermittently broken up by voices of reason). It gets old, so try this on for size. In a refreshing change of pace, a new study shows that seniors who play video games have a higher sense of emotional well-being.

Researchers from North Carolina State University asked 140 people aged 63 and older if they play video games, and if they do, how often. Around 61 percent said they play games on occasion, while 35 percent said they play at least once a week.

Grandma Wii

Those who said they play video games demonstrated higher levels of well-being. And the non-gamers? They tended to have more negative emotions and higher levels of depression.

"The research published here suggests that there a link between gaming and better well-being and emotional functioning," says Dr. Jason Allaire, lead author of a paper describing the study and an associate professor of psychology at NC State. "We are currently planning studies to determine whether playing digital games actually improves mental health in older adults."

This isn't the only study that suggests video games might actually have a positive effect on people. In 2010, the University of Colorado found that video games can lead to better employees.