Playing Video Games Keeps Seniors Mentally Sharp And Connected

Playing video games can keep senior citizens mentally sharp and socially connected, reports a recent study from AARP.


Growing older doesn’t have to mean a decline in mental health. Indeed, just the opposite outcome is attainable. The survey from AARP shows that playing video games among seniors is booming. For example, in the last 3 years, the number of older adults who play these games has increased from 40.2 million gamers in 2016 to 50.6 million gamers in 2019.



Playing Video Games: Survey Results

The reasons for this outlook is simple. Video games are mainstream, fun, and easy to play. The social interaction between family and friends is another positive health benefit. In fact, the study finds that 33 percent of seniors find pleasure and a purpose in gaming. In addition, many seniors are excited to venture outside their comfort zone and are always looking to try new games.


From a health perspective, playing video games allows senior citizens to connect socially, stay mentally sharp, reduce stress, and very important — just have fun.


playing video games


Playing Video Games: Survey Results

Over 37 hundred people, ages 50 70 70+ were surveyed. Any interactive digital entertainment qualified — be it on computer, tablet, iphone or X Box.


The results were interesting. Forty-seven percent of the respondents said they plays these games daily. This is a 7 percent increase since 2016. And, most interesting, seniors report that they spend about 5 hours per week playing video games.


A drill down of the statistics shows the following:

The biggest spike in game play among older adults was among those age 50-59. Game play increased to 49 percent in the 2019 survey, up from 40 percent in 2016.

In the 60-69 age group, game playing increased to 44 percent — up by 3 percentage points from 2016. And among those age 70 and older, there was a two-percentage point increase video game laying — from 37 percent to 39 percent.


Most people age 50 and older who play video games do so on their phones or other mobile devices (73 percent, up from 57 percent in 2016). Puzzle and logic games were the most popular type of game (49 percent of respondents), followed closely by card and tile games — minus the gambling — with 47 percent.


Playing Video Games Is Big Business

More senior citizens playing these games is a win-win situation. Seniors win by staying healthy, active, and engaged. The manufactures gain as their business booms. For example, gamers 50 and older spent an estimated $3.5 billion on gaming within the six-month timeframe from January to June 2019, up from $523 million in 2016!


The survey also found that 49 percent of women age 50 and older were gamers, compared to 40 percent for men. Women are playing video games more often, too, with 53 percent of them say they play video games every day, while just 39 percent of men play daily.

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