People over 55 are fastest-growing market for games

Originally published at: People over 55 are fastest-growing market for games | Boing Boing

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55 seems an odd cut off age. These would’ve been the seniors at uni who hogged PCs in the computer lab to play Doom back in the early 90’s. These would also be the consumers who have been driving sales of the oldest AAA title franchises since day one.


the number of “gamers” over 55 years of age has grown 32% in the last three years.

the 52, 53, and 54 year old gamers all hit 55?


This is one of those really obvious things that younger people don’t consider. I’ve been obsessed with video and computer games since I encountered my first Pong machine at the Hamburger Hamlet on Sunset Boulevard in like 1975. I’m now nearing sixty and still game pretty much every day – though I tend to stay away from platformers because my reflexes aren’t what they used to be, though I admit that I was never really very good at that type of game anyway.


I’m in my 40s, and have noticed how particular I’ve become about games. I want to be challenged, but once it feels like work I bail. I also have no patience for grinding anymore. Maybe it’s that I have less free time and more disposable income, but when I was younger I played everything to completion no matter what. Now if I get to 75% and lose interest that’s fine, plenty more games to play.


I go through that as well. Drives me crazy when I have to grind more levels in order to progress in a game. On the easiest setting, all games should be balanced such that you can get through them organically, without having to resort to grinding or power-leveling. Grim Dawn drove me nuts with this in its earliest versions. But they have since tweaked the difficulty and the game is now a pleasure to play. Gotta have those easy settings for us olds. LOL.


This is the downside to deplatforming


I’ve been enjoying Ori and the Blind Forest recently, and I’ve hit a stage where I know it will be easy once I learn the right tactics, but I don’t really feel the urge, and Forza Horizon and Minecraft are always there.



“People getting older, still enjoying hobbies popular when they were younger. News at 11.”

The games may be slightly different (or not… Diablo II, looking at you), but it’s no different than a kid who grew up playing Hearts playing Bridge in their 50s.

Yup, that’s right folks. If you played the second installment of a popular franchise in your twenties, you might just be in your 40s now, and it’s still playable (and popular enough for a remaster). I know it’s not easy to admit, but… none of us are as young as we used to be.


My wife has spent a gawdawful amount of the quarantine playing Fallout. Which is fine with me, since she plays with her headphones on and I can get my banjo out and practice downstairs.


Ironically, I think this is only really a surprise to many people in the game industry itself - because its poor working conditions burns people out such that its workforce tends to be very young. So even as the upper age limits of the gamer demographics continues to increase over time, that’s not so true of game developers, who continue to focus on making games for their age group.

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The article’s pretty thin. References mobile games and doesn’t distinguish between Fortnite and multiplayer Hearts on Windows. So the big jump could just be older people getting mobile phones and discovering Words With Friends, et al as opposed to a geriatric invasion of Fallout '76. I know I introduced my mother-in-law to Board Game Arena during the pandemic where she plays Can’t Stop religiously.

We do remember “fastest-growing” sounds large but tends to mean small, right?



Here’s the thing, with 55 as the arbitrary cut off, there’s going to be the people who have had a console of some sort dating back to Pong (thanks for bringing that home, dad!) and Atari 2600 (yes, I still have one, get off my lawn) at or just above this age. I’m getting closer to 50 than I care to be, and just snagged a PS5 last month - It is my 5th PlayStation, one from each generation.


I mean, 55 in 2021 is a birthdate of 1966, meaning they were 6 when Pong came out, and 15 when Donkey Kong hit arcades. How is that demographic being gamers a surprise?


It absolutely is. I work in the industry, and can say that all of the growth is in mobile. This annoys console and PC gamers who don’t consider mobile games to be “real” gaming*. However, any time you see an article about how “demographic you don’t expect is super into gaming!”, it is always mobile. Mobile games are accessible, approachable, affordable, and not riddled with teenage toxic masculinity.

*which is gatekeeping bullshit


I hate you. JSYK.

Vet emergency prevented pre-order at release, and restocks around here simply do not seem to happen. But I want one. Have managed to re-set aside the money and everything.

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I’m 57 and we had Pong as kids. My brother basically spent a summer at his best friend’s house perfecting their Asteroids game on Atari. Yeah, we been gaming longer than most gamers been alive.


Sorry, not sorry? I figured it would be like previous launches, and didn’t bother looking until late February. Got it through Gamestop and only knew about the stock drop because they email “pro” members just beforehand (got a house full-o-gamers over here, what can I say).

Still on the hunt for an even more elusive xbox x at the retail price.

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It’s a bit how there are still articles about elderly rock musicians where the reporter seems shocked that these old people would be into that kind of music because they haven’t done the math and figured out that when these people were teens rock was already a thing.