The Department of Behavioral Health and Nutrition at the University of Delaware is conducting research on the use of “exergames” — Wii games that require physical exertion as an input to gain feedback from the system — with older adults.
With assistance from undergraduate health behavior science majors, Professor Beth Orsega-Smith is exploring the use of the Nintendo Wii gaming system to promote not only physical fitness but also mental health.
This Wii video shows what the experience was like for the senior citizens.
We young’uns tend to dismiss everyone older than 65 as hopelessly out of touch with technology. As an extension of that, most of us would find idea of the elderly joining dwarf guilds or besting us in motion-detecting games like the Wii or Xbox Kinect is downright laughable. (Feel free sound off against my reckless ageism in the comments, but my grandmother has never driven a car, let alone blown one up on Grand Theft Auto.) However, new research suggests not only that the elderly are playing digital games in surprising numbers, but that doing so may be an indicator of emotional health. Read More…