Older Adults Love Video Games Too, And It’s Not a Passing Fad
Recent studies show the number of aging adults that regularly play video games is gradually increasing, but the video game market doesn’t seem to realize it. Maybe they started gaming on a cocktail arcade table, but now they fully participate in console gaming as well.
The only problem? Modern video games tend to cater to younger audiences, which make up a larger faction of the market. The preferences of older adults are typically ignored, but in time, as this demographic grows, it could cause a shift in the industry.
Don’t Fall for Stereotypes
Drastic changes are revamping the traditional stereotype of an “old” person, that is, an adult over age 50. According to the Entertainment Software Association, only nine percent of this age group played video games in 1999, but that percentage has ballooned to 27 percent in 2015.
It’s happening across the world as well. In Australia, 41 percent of adults between the ages of 65 and 74 play video games. In Europe, 27 percent of adults between the ages of 55 and 64 play video games.
Predictions estimate that there could be as many as 105 million gamers over age 50 by the year 2045, and that’s just in the United States, as reported by Business Insider.
How Will the Industry Adjust?
Yes, seniors will probably prefer to play games they are familiar with and grew up mastering, but as the number of seniors who play video games grows, their interests will widen as well. Video game publishers who only think about what will sell to a younger crowd will be missing out on a large demographic that also potentially has greater buying power than any other.
Older adults prefer violence and sexual content to be kept to a minimum, preferring games with in-depth, meaningful plot lines. While many games currently marketed to the older generation focus on brain health, this group does not only play video games for mental stimulation – they also play just for the sheer enjoyment.
Ideally, video games geared towards older adults would be easier to learn, allowing retirees to quickly adapt, and they would be marketed as a genuine, fun hobby for seniors, mental health benefits aside.
Will the gaming industry recognize the potential in the market? They may be forced to do so, as aging gamers demand more variety in coming decades.