Old wrinklies are happier when they have video games in their lives, a new academic study has discovered.

Gaming even a little bit led to higher levels of well-being, researchers at the North Carolina State University learned. It was the people without video games in their lives who exhibited more negative emotions and tended towards higher levels of depression.

It suggests there's a genuine link between gaming and "better well-being and emotional functioning", commented the project's Dr. Jason Allison. The team is now planning to research whether playing video games can improve mental health in old wrinklies.


I say "old wrinklies" but it's only people aged 63 and over, which isn't that old at all. 140 people of that age took part in this study. The paper - Successful aging through digital games: Socioemotional differences between older adult gamers and Non-gamers - is available online in full if you pay.

Without the fine detail I can't tell you what games were being played nor for how long. There's a picture of a Wiimote in the University's news story about the study, which is probably a strong indication, and I doubt we're talking about old wrinklies with MMO or gaming habits that usually end up being destructive.

It's not a green light for granny to be raid leader in World of Warcraft, then, but it bodes well for my retirement nonetheless.

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Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.

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