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Motion Gaming May Lift Spirits, Restore Self-Worth for Senior Citizens

older woman with wiiScientists have already discovered a variety of health benefits that video games offer to elderly gamers, including heightened mental acuity and vision restoration. After performing a 10-week observational study, Dr. Patricia Kahlbaugh of Southern Connecticut State University now believes that motion control gaming alleviates other afflictions that commonly plague senior citizens, including feelings of depression, isolation and irrelevance.

Kahlbaugh initially selected 36 participants (with an average age of 82) from various retirement communities in New Haven County, Connecticut. Of those test subjects, 16 played the Nintendo Wii for one hour every week with one of Kahlbaugh's students. (Now that's fieldwork.) Another group, with 12 participants, spent that weekly hour merely watching television with a different student observer.

According to the Atlantic, the Wii group eventually enjoyed a markedly better overall mood than the TV watchers, while the senior citizen gamers also "reported feelings of decreased loneliness and feeling more connected to others." So, as Dylan Thomas once said, "Do not go gentle into that good night . . . [Game, game] against the dying of the light." Although, with motion-control gaming, that original "rage" should probably be replaced with "flail."

Tags: elderly, gaming, kinect, microsoft kinect, MicrosoftKinect, MotionControlGaming, MotionController, move, nintendo, nintendo wii, NintendoWii, science, sony move, SonyMove, study, top, wii