Thanks to my inability to work on a client project last night, I found this article: Motion Gaming May Lift Spirits, Restore Self-Worth for Senior Citizens.
All I have to say is, NOT SHOCKED. I’m not going to summarize the article as that would be too easy, so I’ll just plainly point out two benefits:
1. Physical improvements, though not noticeable at first, can be a great lift to the spirits of people aware of their physical decline.
2. Seniors have to socialize to play these games, and that socialization can preserve and perhaps improve emotional stability of seniors.
Looking back, it wasn’t all that long ago (2008, I believe) in which two researchers from North Carolina State University conducted research showing that the elderly benefit from using the Wii both physically and cognitively. So, the research detailed in the link I posted above is merely the next step in video gaming research.
I’m just surprised it took this long to get something out there about the emotional benefits of motion gaming. The only question I have now is, what is the reaction of people who believe that video games are ‘awful’ to such news? It would be interesting to see if opponents of the video game industry will try and conduct a study to demonstrate negative emotional effect of motion games (or video games in general) on the elderly.