Ages 8 to 80: Establishing a Gaming Hobby at any Age

There are about a million stereotypes typically associated with gamers. Though many of these stereotypes have a small grain of truth, they certainly cannot begin to capture the whole story for many of the gamers they seek to characterize. 

For instance, many people think of gamers as predominantly young adult males, often living in their parent’s basements and without motivation for much else. However, the fact is, gaming has evolved well past one small group of people and now encompasses a huge, diverse segment of the world’s population. Gaming is a fun activity for people of all ages, with everyone from young children to aging adults joining in. 

With all of the diversity out there, both in games and players, it can seem daunting to try to get involved. But opportunities for everyone of all skill sets, backgrounds, and gaming interests exist. Getting into gaming can provide real-world benefits and, when done in a healthy manner, can be a fabulous hobby for anyone interested. 

Benefits of Gaming

Sure, there are plenty of arguments out there about how video gaming is one of the banes of the modern era and how too much time spent playing video games will rot your brain. As with all hobbies, investing too much time and energy into one thing isn’t necessarily healthy and there is certainly more to life than video gaming. However, playing a healthy amount of time can actually have a number of health benefits. 


For one, video games have been shown to help improve brain functions such as mental rotation skills, visual and spatial memory, and multitasking. Many games require players to take in and process new information to make game-changing decisions quickly, skills that everyone can benefit from in the real world. Research suggests that video games can actually help enhance these skills throughout life and may reduce the rates of cognitive decline as we age. 

Video games can also have a profound benefit on mental health for many people. Gaming can be a powerful stress reliever and an opportunity to put the brain to work in new, creative ways. Beyond that, many experts believe that gaming can help teach skills related to emotional resilience and problem-solving. Social gaming networks can also help certain people develop social skills and allow them to maintain friendships in a virtual way. 

Games Aren’t Just for the Young

Surprisingly, many of these pluses aren’t just associated with young people making their way in the world today. In fact, older adults can reap some of the most significant benefits that researchers see from gaming. That’s right — grandma and grandpa are likely to see some real mental benefits from becoming gamers. 

There is no mistaking that aging is hard on the mind, body, and spirit. Not only are bodies declining and physical abilities becoming more restricted, but many older people are experiencing cognitive declines and a loss of a support system as friends and relatives begin to pass away. Finding ways to strengthen mental health when aging is critical to a happier, longer, and more fulfilling older adulthood. 

Games can help with much of this. As previously mentioned, research indicates that games help slow down cognitive declines, challenge the brain in new ways, relieve stress, and improve social interaction. Not to mention, the games are fun and a great way to connect with younger family members. The number of people over 50 playing video games is exploding right now, which suggests that many are discovering at least some of these benefits. 

Creating a Perfect Gaming Space

Getting into video games as a hobby doesn’t mean you need to drop a small fortune to convert a spare bedroom into a gaming lounge, although you certainly could if you wanted to. Instead, starting small can get you going and dip your toes into the greater world of video games. Finding the right console and a couple of games you’re interested in and getting set up in the living room is a great start. 

As you become more involved in your hobby there might be a few other things you look to invest in. For instance, you might begin by optimizing your internet to make it more conducive to streaming and fast-paced gaming situations. You may also consider getting some of the serious gaming basics like a solid gaming headset and a comfortable chair to play in. 

You may even soon recognize that decluttering can be beneficial to the overall gaming situation. Of course, this certainly means cleaning up around you so that your gaming space feels clean and focused. It also means taking a look at how your gaming console is organized and clearing out small bits of data that have built up over the years. This can free up space on your console, make it run a bit faster, and ultimately make you feel more organized when using it. 

Gaming is a popular pastime for many people across the globe. Picking up gaming as a hobby can have a number of real benefits regardless of your age. Not to mention, it is a fun means of connecting with friends and family no matter where they are. Have fun out there!  

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