Vol. 2 No. 4 (2019): International Journal of Aging Research
Research Articles

Benefits of Digital Gameplay for Older Adults: Does Game Type Make a Difference?

David Kaufman1, Mengxin Ma2, Louise Sauvé3, Lise Renaud4, Emmanuel Dupláa5
1Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC, Canada V5A 1S6;2Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC, Canada V5A 1S6;3Département Éducation, Université TELUQ, 455 rue du Parvis, Quebec, QC Canada G1K 9H6;4Département de communication sociale et publique,Université du Québec à Montréal, 405, rue Sainte-Catherine Est, J-3190, Montréal, QC Canada H2L 2C4;5Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa, 45, Jean-Jacques-Lussies Private, Room 143,Ottawa, ON, Canada K1N 6N5.
Keywords
  • digital games, game type, older adults, socioemotional benefits, cognitive benefits
How to Cite
David Kaufman1, Mengxin Ma2, Louise Sauvé3, Lise Renaud4, Emmanuel Dupláa5. (2019). Benefits of Digital Gameplay for Older Adults: Does Game Type Make a Difference?. International Journal of Aging Research, 2(4). https://doi.org/10.28933/ijoar-2019-07-2805

Abstract

Digital games can help older adults to entertain themselves, socialize with others, engage their cognitive functions, and enhance emotional states. This study surveyed 463 older Canadian adults to identify the digital games they had played and investigate whether playing them was associated with perceived socioemotional and cognitive benefits. The most widely reported socioemotional benefits were developing self-confidence, dealing with loneliness, and connecting with family. The most widely reported cognitive benefits were focusing, memory improvement, improved reaction speed, and problem solving. In the socioemotional category, connecting with current friends and connecting with family were both associated with strategy games, while connecting with current friends was also associated with sport games. In the cognitive category, both problem solving and speed in reacting/responding were associated with arcade games. Results show that playing digital games has the potential to be an intervention tool to improve older adults’ wellbeing.

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