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Fastest growing segment of gamers - those over 50

Vdeo games have been a major market force for at least 50 years, so it should be no surprise that there are plenty of gamers over the age of 50.

That's the subject of the latest report from a survey done in 2022 by AARP. If you're not familiar, AARP used to be known as the American Assocation of Retired Persons, but changed its name to simply be the acronym because a lot of its members are older folks who didn't actually retire. It's an organization that advocates for the rights of senior citizens and also provides services to its members through partnerships with other companies.

Out of the "representative" survey, 45% of people over 50 qualify as "gamers" according to the AARP because they spend time gaming every day. Interestingly, 52% of women report playing every day, versus only 37% of men. One in three says they play more video games now than they did two years ago, likely thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. The AARP says that 81% of players prefer to play alone, and those who do play with others most frequently play with children, grandchildren, or adult family members.

The survey analysis further divides the respondents into five groups: Dabblers, Mainstreamers, Indulgers, Enthusiasts, and Immersives, ordered from least to most play time. 15% of the respondents are classed as Dabblers, who may occasionally play a card or puzzle game on their phone. The largest group, Mainstreamers, make up 35%; these are the folks who might play every day but aren't passionate about it, and likely see their daily gaming as being akin to doing the crossword in the newspaper.

Indulgers were 23% of the aged-50+ gamer respondents, and typically play daily on phones and tablets. The AARP says this group often plays casino games alongside typical casual puzzle, tile, and card games. 19% of the group, Enthusiasts are more like what we would conventionally call a "gamer," playing action-adventure and role-playing games. Finally, the remaining 7% are Immersives who self-identify as gamers. They're the only group that prefers dedicated gaming hardware over smartphones.


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