Video games aren't just for millennials. Gaming has been proven to provide tremendous health benefits for seniors. Heck, some of them are making careers out of it.
Video game streaming (when gamers record themselves playing games to a live audience) is dominated by young people. Twitch, the most popular live streaming platform, pulls a 71% millennial audience with the average age being 21 years old. So when a 56 year-old streamer starts pulling off impressive wins in an action-packed Call of Duty game, it's sure to turn heads.
Michelle Statham, aka "TacticalGramma", is one of the oldest female video game streamers on the Twitch platform. Having amassed an impressive following with her wholesome live gaming sessions, she has made the streaming space more inclusive - especially for older people. With 44% of Americans over 50 increasingly playing video games, hopefully we'll have more TacticalGrammas around in the near future.
The truth is, Michelle isn't alone. An 86-year old grandfather has beaten 300 games as a hobby. There's even a professional eSports team entirely of gamers over 60. Although these seniors are playing video games for fun, there's also the added benefits of reduced stress, maintaining mental sharpness and being social.
Studies have shown that gaming, specifically 3D platforming games (think Mario), can deter mild cognitive impairment and can even prevent Alzheimer's disease for individuals aged 55 to 75. Specifically during the pandemic, adult gamers have reported improved mental health through gaming and have found online games a prime way to stay in touch with friends while in self-isolation. With so many different genres of video games out there, giving one a try for the first time will likely do you some good.
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