Gamers over 50 say they feel like an afterthought
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The age-gap between gamers is continuing to grow, ranging from older people that grew up with games, to the newer generations experiencing them for the first time. However, gamers of 50 believe that the newest releases aren’t meant for them, and that they’re becoming an afterthought in the development process.
This is according to a 2023 AARP Research study that found seven in ten gamers aged 50 or over believe new games aren’t designed with them in mind.
This isn’t necessarily surprising, as the game industry has continued to grow and expand in recent years, becoming more and more advanced. New game development tools and methods are making games more realistic than ever, and the inclusion of never before seen game mechanics and sprawling open worlds simply add to the complexity.
However, 28% of older gamers do play on consoles like the PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo Switch, meaning there does need to be some kind of design process to account for their inclusion in the playerbase. Even the basics such as difficulty settings are seemingly overlooked, as 64% of older gamers believed they’re not considered when designing difficulty in modern games
Online games in particular like Call of Duty are challenging mostly due to the large skill-gap between younger and older players. Most online games, especially shooters, require quick reaction times and careful planning to win regularly, which is something that older generations tend to lack compared to the younger generations.
Time is also a factor, as younger gamers tend to have more time to sit down and play games, as well as have the patience to learn and master their controls or mechanics, which is also something older generations will lack.
Older gamers that simply want to sit down and have fun are then at a disadvantage, as they’ll likely find challenges in in-game actions that the majority of players will have easily overcome.
Backing the data up is another statistic that shows that over half of gamers over 50 primarily play games on mobile devices, largely due to their simplicity and on-the-go gameplay.
It’s clear that many gamers over 50 feel left behind by the latest and greatest the game industry has to offer, and while greater accessibility features are being added, it seemingly isn’t enough yet.