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Millions of Baby Boomers Are Increasingly Flocking to Video Games

Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:27 PM
Thomas Bardwell
Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:27 PM
  • An AARP survey reveals habits and attitudes of elderly gamers.
  • In 2019, 50.6 million senior citizens played games in some capacity.
  • Most play predominantly on mobile.

According to a recent survey published by the AARP interest group, baby boomers are flocking to video games in their old age.

The survey aims to understand the general sentiment and habits of US citizens aged 50 or above when it comes to partaking in gaming . For the online survey, a sample of 3,737 respondents fielded a series of questions linked to video games.

50.6 Million Senior Gamers in 2019

The results suggest that more and more 50+ adults are spending time playing games.

The senior citizen gaming community swelled from 40.2 million in 2016 to 50.6 million in 2019. 44% of 50+ adults are now playing games at least once a month compared to 38% in 2016, with an average playtime of around 5 hours per week.

An Increasing Number of Boomers Are Flocking to Video Games
Source: AARP

In 2019, 49% of 50-59-year-olds played games, while the number falls slightly lower to 44% for 60-69-year-olds, before dropping to 39% for those aged 70 and above.

In 2016, 40% of elderly gamers played every day, while the figure jumped to nearly 50% in 2019. Interestingly, among these daily gamers, 53% are women.

Although less 70 or above adults play games, over 50% of those that do enjoy playing every day compared to 45% of 50 to 59-year-olds.

Mobile All The Way

As for what devices are favored among the older gaming population, mobile takes the crown convincingly.

In 2016, 57% used a phone, tablet, or mother mobile devices. In 2019, the figure grew to 73%. PC gamers dropped to 47%, while consoles drew in a measly 13%.

Source: AARP

The social aspect is reportedly responsible for the rise of senior gamers, with many noting time with family members and a sense of community as the main impetus for gaming. Despite this, 92% report playing alone.

Over half of elderly gamers also report stress and anxiety relief as another motivating factor as well as a way to alleviate boredom, for enjoyment, and for the intellectual benefits.

On the monetary side, elderly gamers are responsible for spending $3.5 billion on gaming. On average, each person spent $70 in 2019, up from $13 in 2016.