How pricey video games have sucked in millions of seniors citizens
Older Americans are refusing to say “game over.”
Millions of senior citizens across the country are splashing serious cash on video games, saying they help keep their brains stimulated and create a bond with younger family members.
The findings come from a new survey published by gaming website FandomSpot on Tuesday. The surprising results buck the widely held stereotype that video games are purely played by teenage boys.
“Old people don’t just want to sit on the porch and watch leaves fall, they want to have fun,” FandomSpot’s Alyssa Celatti said in a statement provided to The Post. “This study might even encourage more senior citizens to give gaming a go for some of the benefits cited by their peers.”
The site polled 1,000 video game players aged 65 and over, finding almost half spent at least $500 in the past year on consoles, games and accessories.
More than three quarters of those polled said the games help them to keep “a healthy, younger mind,” while 76% said they facilitated relationships with family and friends. That finding also refutes the cliché that video games foster isolation and anti-social behaviors.
Additionally, about half of the respondents said video games actually helped improve their mental health.
Back in 2019, a study conducted by AARP determined that video games were “booming” in popularity among Americans age 50 and older. The organization found the number of older players grew from 40.2 million in 2016 to 50.6 million in 2019.
The subsequent coronavirus pandemic and strict stay-at-home orders have likely prompted millions more older Americans to take up play, with seniors telling the FandomSpot surveyors that the electronics have helped ease their boredom.
Nintendo’s “Animal Crossing” became a beloved video game during the pandemic, turning into a popular pastime for some senior citizens scared of venturing outdoors for fear of catching the coronavirus.
The Post spoke with one video game designer who helped his 88-year-old grandma get hooked on the game.
Meanwhile, the FandomSpot survey also revealed that violence-heavy “Call of Duty” video games were popular among America’s senior citizens.
And while 58% of those surveyed said they played video games on a PlayStation, a majority of senior citizens also snuck in some play time on their smartphones.
The online puzzle Wordle was the second most popular game for Americans over the age of 65, while Candy Crush took the top spot.