The AARP, a US-based group that advocates for individuals aged 50 and above, has released a new study examining the gaming habits of seniors. Based on 3,700 individual responses to an online survey, the AARP has found the number of gamers in this age group to have increased significantly since 2016. Now the AARP estimates 50.6 million seniors play games regularly in the U.S., compared to 40.2 million in 2016. 44% of seniors reported playing video games at least once a month.
The biggest increase is in gamers aged 50 to 59, especially women, as 49% of women aged 50 and up reported playing video games regularly, compared to just 40% of men in that same age group. Of the women who identified themselves as gamers 53% of them reported playing games daily, while only 39% of men reported playing daily. Over one-third of senior gamers said they constantly try new games, with even less reporting that they find new games through their children’s and grandchildren’s recommendations instead.
Mobile gaming is a big part of the increasing in gaming among seniors, as 73% of seniors reported playing games on their phones or tablets. This is a sharp contrast from 2016, when 59% of seniors reported playing games on their laptops or computers. Now, only 47% reported playing on computers, though this is still significantly higher than any other platforms or consoles.
Alison Bryant, AARP’s senior vice president of research, attributed seniors’ growing interests in video games to “stress release, connecting socially, and staying mentally sharp,” as games provide “wonderfully bite-sized bites of entertainment” for seniors.
Seniors are becoming an important part of the gaming market, as the study found that senior gamers over the age of 50 spend $70 USD when purchasing games on average. This definitely contributed to last year’s impressive $120 billion in revenue generated by digital content in the gaming and digital media industry.