I think the association of video gaming and kids is just outdated. It's like associating rock music with teenagers :-)

The kids who first played computer games (I played my first adventure game on a teletype at 300 baud!) are grown up now -- heck, we're old. The second generation of kid gamers (who enjoyed animated images, not just text) are also grown up now and looking at middle age. The third generation who grew up with a crazy explosion of gaming technology -- consoles, PCs with USB controllers, online gaming -- are definitely adults.

Moreover I think computer gaming technology has a lot, a whole lot, to offer to older people. Quick listicle:

Mental stimulation: many computer games exercise short term memory, pattern recognition, reasoning and other brain skills that are more quickly lost if never exercised. Along with crossword puzzles and card games, senior citizens may be able to extend their cognitive functionality by having fun with computer games.

Transcending disability: computer gaming, particularly first person adventures and even more so VR, offer a grand escape and distraction for anyone who is a) homebound, b) in moderate chronic discomfort, c) increasingly disabled. If I am ever hospitalised for any length of time, god forbid, the thing I most want with me is my Oculus Quest 2 -- to help me survive the long days of utter boredom, discomfort, lack of privacy, helplessness, and anxiety.

Social connection: there is more to gaming than just gameplay. Loosely associated with gaming are social online spaces and the opportunity to connect with other people. I recently ventured into Oculus' Rec Room and played a round of lane bowling with a complete stranger. He was using a gamepad, I was using a Quest 2, and we passed a pleasant quarter hour or so knocking the pins down. I applauded his great shots and he mine. We had a laugh. It was a casual encounter, but fun and warming. Elderly people who for whatever reason are isolated, can find company and conversation online and join in fun, simple sports and games with others.

Obviously it would be better if all elderly people could go out in the fresh air -- go lawn bowling or play croquet with real friends, have regular social events on their calendar, etc. But given the realities of Covid-19, etc, online gaming and socialising could be a lifeline for lonely older people.

VR has also been tried as a therapy or relief for Alzheimer's patients. https://www.healthline.com/health-news/heres-how-vr-can-help-people-with-dementia

VR and fitness: VR offers a lot of entertainment carrot to motivate people to pursue regular fitness programmes. Older people often suffer from diminishing physical activity, which accelerates aging and loss of function. In the Covid era, these are the people least likely to go out to gyms and spas or fitness classes; there's a huge demographic who could do with more exercise, and could be motivated and entertained by gaming technology.

I think not only popular opinion, but the gaming industry itself, is out of step with present reality in assuming that the only market -- the only significant market -- for gaming is teenage boys, with a smaller cohort of teenage girls. OK, I know they don't think quite that simply, but when you look at gaming titles you still see a lot of games that are unoriginal, testosterone-fuelled, demanding far more from your finger reflexes than from your forebrain.

This is starting to change; but I think the gaming industry still doesn't get how huge the market might be for games that appeal to adults, including elders -- games that are not speed/reflex driven, not combat oriented, or even are not games at all but experiences. Virtual tourism is a pet topic of mine; but there's also vast potential for accurate simulation of conventional sports and games.

I know whereof I speak, because I am old (over 60) and still love computer gaming; unsurprisingly I prefer sims and puzzle games to combat or RPG. I finally tried VR this year and am completely hooked; I see VR as something that could make my declining years far more interesting and fun. Hell, old people may be the best market of all for computer games and sims: we've got a lot more free time to play.

Retired; ex-software engineer. Paleo-feminist. Sailor. Arduino tinkerer. Enviro. Libertarian Socialist (Anarcho-Syndicalist, kinda). Writer. Altermondialiste.

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