The Wii game system has developed a consumer base that defies convention when it comes to video games: older adults. When we think of video games, we usually either think of kids and teens, glued in front of their screens, playing their games, or young men spending hours playing on the computer. But the Wii game system has appealed to people who may not usually play these types of games.
It’s been published already that there are retirement communities and nursing homes that use the Wii system to help keep seniors active. Between bowling and other interactive games, the game encourages people to get up out of their chair and move around. There are even competitions among different groups, an Olympics of sorts. And, once again, there is a study that shows that the Wii system can be beneficial.
According to a poster presentation at this year’s American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference, a small pilot study of 20 patients (average age 61 years) who had had a mild or moderate stroke showed significant improvement in motor abilities and the speed that they could complete tasks, after playing Wii tennis or Cooking Mama games – more so than those who participated in more standard activities, such as building with blocks or playing cards.
The beauty of a video game system is that it is easy to do these games at home if the patients can either borrow a unit or buy one of their own, and they can be played alone or with others.