Gaming console to be examined in 100 aged peoples’ houses throughout Germany

BERLIN, March 7 (Xinhua) — The gaming console MemoreBox created for older people will be introduced to 100 elderly peoples’ homes across Germany, the German health insurance company Barmer announced on Thursday.

The gaming console can be connected to televisions or beamers and is operated with the help of a camera using gesture control only. Elderly people in the participating facilities will be offered digital activities such as table tennis, motorcycling, dancing, singing, bowling and table tennis.

In order to guarantee the “therapeutic effectiveness”, researchers from German universities will be regularly monitoring possible changes to the physical and mental abilities as well as life satisfaction levels of the elderly people which will be playing the video games.

“The therapeutic computer-based training programs of the MemoreBox promote physical and mental abilities, bring people together, take them on discovery trips and are challenging in a playful way”, Barmer managing director for Lower Saxony Heike Sander stated.

In a two-year test run, Bramer had already provided MemoreBox to care facilities in Berlin and Hamburg. The results showed that the games achieved “preventive and health-promoting efficacy.” Additionally, the participants would have improved their walking performance and were better able to stand up safely, Sander added.

The MemoreBox is not the first project of its kind in Europe, Clemens Becker of the German society for geriatrics (DGG) told the German press agency (dpa) on Thursday. In the Netherlands,for example, games by SilverFit are already widely established in nursing homes.

Studies would have shown that seniors spend twice as much time on practice when engaging with video games. However, Becker stressed that these games “cannot replace physiotherapy.”