Flinders University is supporting a six-week Stay in the Game challenge led by aged care provider ACH Group.
Older Australians are encouraged to engage with the new online video gaming challenge to boost their physical activity and social connection.
Stay in the Game is open from 19 April – 28 May to all South Aussies aged 65 and over.
Research shows that gaming is no longer a young person’s hobby, with the Interactive Game and Entertainment Association finding that more than 40% of Australians aged 65 and over regularly play some form of video game.
ACH Group CEO Frank Weits says many health and social benefits can be experienced by participating in online gaming.
“Modern online gaming offers everything from dancing to boxing and scrabble, meaning it can be an exciting addition in keeping your brain and body active,” he says.
“The challenge also inspires community wellbeing and social connection as participants are encouraged to play with friends and family.
“We are especially looking forward to hearing stories of grandparents and their grandchildren participating in the challenge together.”
In addition to playing with friends and family, challenge participants can meet via an online portal and there will be a series of face-to-face ‘arcade’ sessions across metropolitan Adelaide.
Participants are also encouraged to set and track their goals, which could include how many friends and family they will play online with a week, or how long they’d like to exercise every day using online gaming.
At the end of the challenge participants will be asked to submit their stories to be in the running to win four major prizes including South Australian Gamer of the Year.
All that is needed to participate in the challenge is a smartphone, computer, or your favourite gaming device (Facebook Portal Plus, PlayStation, Nintendo) and internet.
“If they are new to online gaming, our advice is to play a traditional game online they’re already familiar with such as scrabble or chess,” Mr Weits says.
“Then when they feel confident playing those familiar games, they can take up the challenge of learning a new game.
“This also highlights the opportunity for older people to learn new skills through gaming.”
Registrations are now open via stayinthegame.achgroup.org.au
Participants will be in the running to win a host of prizes.
Stay in the Game is funded by the SA Government’s Statewide Wellbeing Strategy led by Wellbeing SA. Flinders is a partner in development an evaluation.