Video games and seniors: there is no age for games

If you consult Frequently Ludicité, you should know that the studies estimate that the average age of video game players would be around 33 years (and increasing from year to year) and slightly more masculine than female (around 60% -40 %).

I would say, without being too mistaken, that there is a certain gap between the popular representation of the average player (adolescent – male) and reality (adult – mixed).

But why?
In the typical representation of the players, a group is frequently forgotten: the elders . In fact, 45% of Canadians over the age of 55 play video games several days a week. In Quebec, according to Cefrio, 70% of seniors who play online games .

Figures for the least impressive!

In my opinion, this difference is largely due to the different games that seniors play. Where teenagers dominate the console game market, adult women make up for social video games . Zynga (FarmVille, Mafia Wars, etc.), BigFishGames and Popcap (Bejeweled, Zuma, etc.) are companies that particularly target this age group and do business in gold .

” The typical profile of social players is a 43 year old woman ”

These companies offer free games that are quick to learn , simple and little chronovorous . Pure entertainment, what?

In a study funded by PopCap, the typical profile of social gaming players would be a 43-year-old women . According to the age distribution, more than 20% of its clientele consists of individuals over 55 years of age.

The arrival of the Wii
The Nintendo Wii console has also changed the perception of console games for social players. By expanding its customer base, Nintendo has been able to offer a range of games more accessible to players who knew little about this universe.

Brain Age (cognitive development), Wii Fit and Wii Sports (physical health) games are big hits in retirement homes . Seniors have fun with the gaming motion and the social aspect of video games.

This is another of the great strengths of the Wii: intergenerational . Video games on consoles often have no secret for young people, they will show their grandparents how these games simpler. This allows for a family activity that reaches the different generations.

Entertainment or therapy?
Of course, these types of games do not help the cause of video games as 10th art . But, beyond this elitist debate, these games are especially important because they serve seniors.

” Unlike games for young people, the media treatment of video games for seniors is very positive ”

In this regard, let me tell you about one of my theories about player representation that obscures elders. In my opinion, the reason is simple: Elders tend to associate video games with a therapeutic vocation. Unlike young people who “waste their time” on games, the media treatment of video games for seniors is very positive and highlights these aspects benefactors.

This would certainly explain why the vast majority of articles treat video games for seniors as a therapeutic tool and not as entertainment.