WASHINGTON — Forty-one million Americans, more than one of every three people over age 50, play video games on a regular basis, according to a new survey released today by AARP and the Entertainment Software Association (ESA).
The survey, Video Games: Attitudes and Habits of Adults Age 50-Plus, found that three-quarters of gamers age 50-plus play weekly, with four in 10 playing daily. Among gamers age 60 and above, 43 percent play video games every day.
“With the explosion of dynamic, compelling, and diverse content and the growing popularity of online gaming, video games are now an experience shared across generations of Americans,” said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of ESA, which represents the U.S. video game industry. “As Gen X turns 50 and Millennials raise tech-centric families, participation will only continue to expand just as games continue to evolve.”
According to the survey, 50-plus gamers play video games for fun. Maintaining mental sharpness also was cited as an important reason for playing video games.
The report also examines how and what older gamers play. Gamers age 50 plus most commonly play on laptops or computers (59 percent), followed closely by phones or mobile devices (57 percent). They prefer video games that mimic traditional forms of play; card/tile games (46 percent) and puzzle/logic games (44 percent) are the most popular among older gamers.
“Video games have come a long way since the days of Pong. Today’s online video games give people 50-plus fun ways to stay connected with their family and friends through online gaming communities across a variety of devices,” said Jo Ann Jenkins, CEO of AARP. “Video games and apps are truly ageless, offering gamers of all ages—a grandfather as well as his granddaughter—the opportunity to share entertainment and social interactions with one another.”
Other noteworthy findings from the study include:
- Gamers age 50-plus are more likely to be women (40 percent) than men (35 percent);
- More women report playing games daily (45 percent) than their male counterparts (35 percent);
- Fifty-nine percent of older gamers play games online;
- Women (57 percent) are significantly more likely than men (43 percent) to say they play more online today than they did five years ago; and
- Half of gamers age 50-plus report learning about new games and gaming hardware from sources other than websites, with one in six reporting their children and grandchildren influence their choice of games.
GfK conducted the online survey for ESA and AARP from March 9 through March 17, 2016 using the GfK KnowledgePanel, with a nationally representative sample of 2,964 adults age 50 and older (gamers, n=1510; non-gamers, n=1454). The data are weighted at two levels: first, to demographics among total respondents, and second to demographics within the gamer/non-gamer groups of qualified respondents.