Video Games: More Than Just Fun for Over 50 Crowd

The release of the Nintendo Wii gaming console seems to have reminded everyone that it's not just pimply-faced teenage boys that love video games. There are girl gamers, guy gamers and even gamers that can get a senior citizen discount when they go to the movies. To me, it seems obvious that video games will always be fun for the whole family, but I was rather shocked and intrigued to learn that so many older gamers say they get an actual workout and mental stimulation from games. I hope I say the same someday. PopCap Games, a developer of casual games, recently conducted a survey involving more than 2,000 casual game players, and found that:


  • 47 percent of all casual game players are 50 or older, and nearly 20 percent are 60 or older
  • "Seniors" play casual games for longer periods of time, and more frequently, than younger players. 65 percent of players age 50 and up say they play the games on a daily basis, compared to less than half of younger players
  • Of players 50 or older, 74 percent cited cognitive exercise (mental workouts), 86 percent noted stress relief, and 62 percent chose memory strengthening as benefits they experience from playing casual games

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  • Fully 32 percent of respondents 50 or older said the games distract them from chronic pain/fatigue, and nearly one in ten said they derive actual relief from chronic pain/fatigue when playing

  • As the single most important reason for playing, subjects age 50 and up chose "stress relief/relaxation" (39 percent) and "mental workout" (21 percent)
  • 86 percent of older survey respondents said that they felt playing casual games offered them physical and/or mental health benefits, compared to 74 percent of under-50 respondents
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