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Video games are often associated with younger people in general (and perhaps teenage boys in particular) but the reality is that 40% of people over age 50 play them, too.


According to a nextavenue.org article, an increasing number of boomers are downloading games onto their smartphones or tablets — either to kill time or to make a long trip more bearable. Easy to install and affordable, games are also good for boosting your brainpower.

 

It's not surprising that gaming is becoming more popular among retirement age folks: After all, there is something inherently satisfying about solving puzzles and completing levels, whether you're nine years old or 90.


Studies even suggest that gaming is beneficial for your mental health: The University of North Carolina found a positive correlation between game-playing and well-being, social functioning and other emotional health measures.

 

If you're feeling nostalgic, you can search for classic board games, such as Scrabble and Monopoly, on your smartphone; play with social network or random opponents, at whatever pace suits you. There are also word puzzles or "brain trainer" apps with IQ tests and quizzes to challenge your brain.

 

Play should in fact be one of life's priorities, nextavenue.org argued in a more recent article. For many older gamers, fun is an end in itself, rather than a means to improve the brain. Assistant professor of gerontology at Ohio University, Julie Brown studies the importance of play across a lifetime and has found that older adults often return to the games they enjoyed during childhood.


This doesn't mean that once you hit retirement age you'll start playing hide and- seek again, but that you may seek out similar thrills (such as evading capture) in video games.

 

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