Like other things in life, gaming doesn’t have to end at 50.
A new report from the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) entitled “Gamers Over 50 Study: You’re Never Too Old to Play” revealed that 48 percent of Americans in their 50s play video games. And these folks aren’t just playing those games sporadically, as 80 percent of those surveyed said they played video games every week, and 45 percent identified themselves as daily gamers.
That doesn’t mean you’ll typically find people in this demographic tearing it up at “Battlefield 4″ (though they’d no doubt be destroying this writer if they were!). The research conducted for the ESA report found that 56 percent of 50-plus gamers played card/tile games, 52 percent enjoyed puzzle/logic games, and 27 percent liked the trivia, word, and board game genre. It appears that mobile gaming hasn’t truly caught on with them either, as 92 percent of the respondents said they do their gaming at home.
Not surprisingly, the ESA tends to take the broadest possible view of what constitutes gaming, so reports like this aren’t likely to change the way many video games are marketed. Don’t expect, say, Sony and Microsoft to all of a sudden start targeting the 50-plus crowd with PS4 and Xbox One ads.
But the report is indicative of the way video games have become embedded in the fabric of everyday life in the US, something that Jason Allaire, associate professor of psychology at N.C. State University, thinks will only increase going forward.
“These are extremely exciting results and really highlight that people of all ages play video games,”Allaire said in an ESA press release. “There is no longer a ‘stereotype game player,’ but instead a game player could be your grandparent, your boss, or even your professor. I suspect that the percentage of older adults playing video games will rise as Baby Boomers enter retirement, increasing the focus on positive effects of playing games.”
More information on the report and all of the ESA’s research is available online at www.theESA.com.