40 Million Americans Aged 50-Plus Play Video Games, Claims AARP Survey

Published: June 3, 2016 2:49 PM /


PC Gaming Seinors

A new survey estimates that 40 million Americans aged 50 or older play video games regularly.

The survey, titled Video Games: Attitudes and Habits of Adults Aged 50-Plus was conducted by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) claims that three-quarters of people aged 50-plus play video games weekly, while 43% of those aged 60-plus play video games every day.

GfK conducted the survey for AARP and the ESA through online emails from March 9 through March 17, 2016. The survey employed a "nationally representative sample" (sample size representing the total population, hence the estimation of 40 million Americans) of 2,964 adults age 50 and older, with 1,510 of them designating themselves as gamers. The data was weighted at two levels; first to demographics among total respondents, and second to demographics within the gamer and non-gamer groups of qualified respondents.   It should be noted that the survey, conducted through email, has an inherent bias towards those familiar or comfortable with technology.

Several of the key findings in the survey point to four in ten adults over fifty identify themselves as gamers (roughly 38%), and that computers (59%) and mobile devices (57%) are the systems of choice for the majority of those surveyed. In addition to this, nearly six in ten gamers surveyed (59%) say they play online.  For consoles, only 22% of those surveyed actually owned one, with the Nintendo Wii being the most popular console choice, followed by the Xbox 360. 

Another key finding is demographics; there are more women gamers among the 50-plus age range (40%) compared to men (35%), and more women play games daily compared to male gamers, roughly 45% to 35%, respectively. Another interesting finding is that women were 57% more likely to say they play games online than men, at 43%. 

The games of choice for those aged 50-plus are primarily card and title games (46%), Puzzle-logic games (44%) and then trivia and word games, coming in at a distant third. The reason to keep playing these games, according to the survey, is to have fun for those under 70 years old, while 70+ wanted to play these game to maintain mental sharpness as their primary goal. Among the top ten genres also includes Arcade games and First Person Shooters, although their numbers are significantly lower, coming in at less than 10%. 

One final bit of information was over half of the people surveyed learned about new gaming software and information not from news sources or websites, but from family - in particular, children and grandchildren, who have influenced their choices of games. 

So what do you think about this whole survey? Leave your comments below.


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| Staff Writer

A longtime player of games, creator of worlds, and teacher of minds. Robert has worked many positions over the years, from college professor to education… More about Robert