Are Older Gamers Shut Out Of Gaming?


Posted May 18, 2010 - By Stephen Johnson

Older GamersI have no doubt that you and I will spend our last years on earth video gaming. The nursing homes of the future will feature PlayStation 14s and Xbox 5,665s, and we will forget the imminent approach of Death by playing endless games of Mario Kart between meals of strained peas. But right now, the game industry is missing out on billions of dollars by ignoring the older gaming demographic, according to a "white paper" co-written by The AbleGamers Foundation and 7-128 Software.

The paper points out that the average age of gamers has gone up to 35 years old, and over 25 percent of gamers are over 50. According to the paper, many older gamers are being shut out of gaming by their disabilities, and that means lost money for game companies.

"This papers clearly demonstrates that the face of the typical gamer is changing and game manufacturers need to adapt or risk alienating what is eventually going to become a significant customer base," says Eleanor Robinson, COO of 7-128 Software and the paper's co-author. "The good news is that by making video games accessible to gamers with disabilities, which includes older gamers, game manufacturers will unlock a lucrative, paying market of consumers for years to come," she adds.

Disabilities are one problem older gamers face, but geriatrics also must overcome the following hurdles in order to become part of the gaming community:

  • Young wippersnappers: Older gamers hate young people online because they have no manners or common decency anymore.
  • Real-World Distractions: Wizened fogies are often pulled out of games at important points because some young punk is walking on their lawn.
  • Changing technology: "Back in my day, we had Atari, and we were happy! We didn't have Super Mimtendos and Robot 360s!"
  • Onions on the belt: It was the fashion then.
  • Frequent urination: Prostrate problems can wipe raids and destroy multi-player rankings -- get it checked!

What do you think about older gamers?

Are Older Gamers Shut Out Of Gaming?