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Nearly Half of Americans Older than 50 Play Video Games

Study shows card, tile, and puzzle games are a popular entertainment option

Washington, DC – November 18, 2013 – Forty-eight percent of adults age 50 and older say they play video games, according to new research released today by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). The report, “Gamers Over 50 Study: You’re Never Too Old to Play,” found that 80 percent of these gamers play video games on a weekly basis and 45 percent play on a daily basis.

“Video games are enjoyed by millions of consumers of all ages. The popularity of video games is expected given the innovation and sheer entertainment this industry offers,” said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of ESA, the trade association representing U.S. computer and video game publishers. “Across all game platforms and genres, Americans age 50 and over are exercising their minds and bodies, connecting with family members, and having fun with video games.”

Additional report findings on gamers older than 50 include:

  •  They prefer games that mimic traditional forms of play. Card/tile games (56 percent) and puzzle/logic games (52 percent) are the preferred genre among this group, followed by trivia, word, and board games (27 percent);
  • A majority (92 percent) play at home, and most game play is done during the evening hours (55 percent); and,
  • Among those with children living in their household, 63 percent say their children influence which games they buy, and 62 percent say their children help them learn about new games or game technology.

“These are extremely exciting results and really highlight that people of all ages play video games,” said Jason Allaire, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at North Carolina State University and co-director of the Gains Through Gaming Lab. “There is no longer a ‘stereotype game player,’ but instead a game player could be your grandparent, your boss, or even your professor. I suspect that the percentage of older adults playing video games will rise as Baby Boomers enter retirement, increasing the focus on positive effects of playing games.”

The NPD Group conducted the survey for ESA among a U.S. representative sample of approximately 1,800 gamers age 50 and older. Survey respondents said they play video games on at least one system or device, such as a smartphone, video game console, portable game console, computer, or other game system.

ESA offers services to interactive entertainment software publishers, including conducting business and consumer research, providing legal and policy analysis and advocacy on First Amendment, intellectual property and technology/e-commerce issues, managing a global anti-piracy program, owning and operating E3, and representing video game industry interests in federal and state government relations. For more information, please visitwww.theESA.com or follow us on Twitter: @RichatESA.

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