Some retirement villages have started introducing their residents to video gaming. Sound strange? Not to the residents who are making gaming a part of their day. Video gaming is no longer just for the younger generations. Older generations are taking advantage of their free time to see what’s changed about gaming since their youth, and they’re becoming the pros. Video gaming has become popular in retirement villages because of the positive effects on their residents; from eradicating feelings of loneliness, staving off boredom, creating an online village (as well as living in one), and defeating stereotypes about the elderly, video gaming is doing all kinds of good.
Making Your Mind Run A Mile
Being active when you’re older can become harder, but being active doesn’t always mean running a mile. Video gaming is a great way to keep the mind active, like puzzle-solving, escapism, testing reflexes, multi-tasking and being creative; gaming tests all kinds of skills provides all kinds of outlets and is more engaging than simply watching TV. From consoles to PCs, gaming is no longer a generational phenomenon. If you looked, in some retirement villages you might find its residents waiting out respawn times on World of Warcraft with a digital crossword, with the ability to Unscramble Words in seconds with their newfound technological skills. The true multi-tasking gamer.
Loneliness, Stay Away
Loneliness happens to everyone. But one of the many good things about living in a digital age is, even if you can’t be physically close to someone, there’s always another person on the internet, just a click of a button away. Bringing video gaming into retirement villages is a brilliant way to stop more of its isolated residents from feeling lonely. Whether or not there’s direct communication with other players on games, the simple act of playing with other people can be enough to brighten someone’s day. On the Nintendo Switch’s game ‘Splatoon’, you’re thrown together with random players and forced to cooperate in order to win. Victories are made all the sweeter after finding a way to win on a team of complete strangers, and losses are made easier knowing you’re not alone in your disappointment.
Community Fun (And Bowling Feuds)
Aside from keeping loneliness away, video gaming can also create communities. Whether that be online or in-person, video gaming is another gateway to making friends. Online gaming communities are vast, from the gaming platform itself to apps made for easier communication and grouping, or websites where discussions about gaming endlessly take place, there are opportunities to find community niches everywhere. It can, again, be refreshing to find those online who fit your gaming niche who you never would have had the chance to meet in person.
In retirement villages, video gaming can also create in-person communities. Nintendo Wii bowling tournaments can create friendships that they never have formed otherwise. They also give residents and event to socialize around and activity to bond over. Although, I’m sure they can get pretty heated too.
That Sweet Nostalgia
While some make jokes that older generations don’t know how to use technology today, video gaming wasn’t invented in the 90s. Bringing video games into retirement villages may bring happy memories spent in arcades and of gaming away youthful summers for many residents there. Video games may be a welcome reintroduction to the world of digital entertainment. And without jobs or time-consuming commitments, video gaming is a great way to spend time relaxing and enjoying retirement. Although procrastination isn’t as fun when there’s nothing to procrastinate, video games are still a great commodity to introduce into retirement villages.
From keeping the mind active (and cheating on crosswords), keeping away loneliness (and getting very invested in Splatoon), being part of a community (while arguing over bowling team names) and bringing back memories (ah yes, Pacman), video gaming is a great tool, and not only for the younger generations. There are many reasons why retirement villages are utilizing video games for their residents, and the above are only some of the many benefits gaming can have. So next time you visit your elderly relatives, maybe ask them if they want to play Fortnite. And I would practice beforehand if I were you.