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      Reasons for playing casual video games and perceived benefits among adults 18 to 80 years old.

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          Abstract

          Casual video games (CVGs) are becoming increasingly popular among middle-aged and older adults, yet there are few studies documenting why adults of different ages play these games, what benefits they perceive, and how regularly they play. The present study compared the online survey responses of 10,308 adults ranging from 18 to 80 years of age to questions regarding PopCap's popular free online game, Bejeweled Blitz (BJB). All respondents cited playing against friends as their main reason for playing. However, there were differences by age in the second most frequently cited reason. Middle-aged adults cited stress relief, and older adults reported that they seek the game's challenges. As a result of playing CVGs, younger adults noted that they felt sharper and experienced improved memory; older adults were more likely to feel that their visuospatial skills and response time benefited. Adults aged 60 and older had heavier patterns of game play than did adults under the age of 60 years. A significant number of respondents (14.7%) spontaneously noted that they felt that BJB had addictive qualities. CVG players seem to be drawn into this activity by its social nature and to a certain extent by its reinforcing properties. Once involved, however, they believe that they derive a number of benefits that, for older adults, appear to offset declines in age-sensitive cognitive functions.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw
          Cyberpsychology, behavior and social networking
          Mary Ann Liebert Inc
          2152-2723
          2152-2715
          Dec 2013
          : 16
          : 12
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts Amherst , Amherst, Massachusetts.
          Article
          10.1089/cyber.2012.0705
          23971430

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