Gaming Forever

The New York Times has an interesting article on the increasing popularity of video games among retirees. Sports games appeal to those no longer able to engage in stenuous physical activity. The advent of the Wii has made it possible to participate even without fine motor control. Other kinds of games, such as online card playing, Scrabble clones, and similar products are popular as means of keeping the mind active.

Not only does this make my Halo2 addiction seem somewhat less immature, it has important implications for the future of video game design and marketing:

PopCap Games in Seattle, the maker of the diversions so popular at St. Mary, says its games have been downloaded more than 200 million times since the company was founded in 2000. A spokesman said that the company was stunned by results of a customer survey last year: 71 percent of its players were older than 40, 47 percent were older than 50, and 76 percent of PopCap players were women.

There is a huge potential here, and I predict it will only increase. Good news for those of us looking for more ‘mature’ games (and I don’t mean Grand Theft Auto or the Playboy Mansion). Historical simulations, turn-based gaming (as opposed to RTGs), and in-depth play will be what appeals to this demographic.

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