Over-50s spent $3.5 billion on gaming in last six months7th January 2020
Playing video games is swiftly becoming a rising trend for older adults in America, with tablet and mobile devices being the preferred platform.
A recent survey from AARP revealed that 44% of Americans aged 50+ enjoy playing video games at least once per month, which is up from 38% back in 2016.
This translates roughly into 51 million gamers in 2019 playing an average of five hours each week – a figure up by 11 million in the last three years.
Women are the leaders of the trend with 49% of the respondents reporting they play regularly, compared to 40% of men.
Interestingly, nearly 53% of women surveyed said they game daily whereas only 39% of men said the same.
Unsurprisingly, the over 50s prefer spending their leisure time on portable devices with 73% of respondents revealing their preferred platform is a smartphone or a tablet.
Three out of four Americans surveyed said they play for fun while 57% divulged games help alleviate stress. The older the focus group were, the more they responded that staying mentally sharp and challenged were added bonuses.
Nearly all of them (92%) mostly game alone. However 37% did indicate that when playing with other people it was more fun and they enjoy the competition.
Four in ten of the questioned group suggested they interact socially in both game and non-game related discussions during their sessions.
When engaging in cooperative play, it is typically with spouses, children and grandchildren though, as 50+ gamers become more comfortable with the activity, their children and so on have less impact on their behavioural patterns and purchases.
Senior gamers are spending $3.5bn in a six month time frame
Perhaps the most interesting finding from the survey was that senior players have bore a significant economic impact in the industry.
Between gaming hardware, content and accessories, those aged 50 or older are collectively spending roughly $3.5 billion in a six month time frame – which is a drastic increase from the $523 million figure reported back in 2016.
More than one-third of them report they are constantly on the prowl for new titles and often look at social media, ads and websites for direction.
In the last six months, senior gamers were spending an average of $70 per head on the hobby.
In this age group, virtual reality is not popular though there has been a notable increase in eSports interest.
While older generations are indeed turning to video games, there is still a distinguishable split between the preferences of the age groups.
For instance, puzzle and logic games are among the most popular titles for those aged 50 and above but action and shooter games are far from a popular choice for them.
The survey was conducted in June 2019 using 3,737 Americans including 1,664 gamers who owned a device and played at least once a month.
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