Jun 2, 2016
More Than 40 Million Americans Age 50-Plus Play Video Games
ESA, AARP survey underscores video gaming habits and preferences for people age 50-plus

WASHINGTON, DC – Forty-one million Americans, more than one of every three people over age 50,  play video games on a regular basis, according to a new survey released today by AARP and the Entertainment Software Association (ESA).

The survey, Video Games:  Attitudes and Habits of Adults Age 50-Plus, found that three-quarters of gamers age 50-plus play weekly, with four in 10 playing daily. Among gamers age 60 and above, 43 percent play video games every day.

“With the explosion of dynamic, compelling, and diverse content and the growing popularity of online gaming, video games are now an experience shared across generations of Americans,” said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of ESA, which represents the U.S. video game industry. “As Gen X turns 50 and Millennials raise tech-centric families, participation will only continue to expand just as games continue to evolve.”

According to the survey, 50-plus gamers play video games for fun. Maintaining mental sharpness also was cited as an important reason for playing video games.

The report also examines how and what older gamers play. Gamers age 50 plus most commonly play on laptops or computers (59 percent), followed closely by phones or mobile devices (57 percent). They prefer video games that mimic traditional forms of play; card/tile games (46 percent) and puzzle/logic games (44 percent) are the most popular among older gamers.

“Video games have come a long way since the days of Pong. Today’s online video games give people 50-plus fun ways to stay connected with their family and friends through online gaming communities across a variety of devices,” said Jo Ann Jenkins, CEO of AARP. “Video games and apps are truly ageless, offering gamers of all ages—a grandfather as well as his granddaughter—the opportunity to share entertainment and social interactions with one another.”

Other noteworthy findings from the study include:

  • Gamers age 50-plus are more likely to be women (40 percent) than men (35 percent);
  • More women report playing games daily (45 percent) than their male counterparts (35 percent);
  • Fifty-nine percent of older gamers play games online;
  • Women (57 percent) are significantly more likely than men (43 percent) to say they play more online today than they did five years ago; and
  • Half of gamers age 50-plus report learning about new games and gaming hardware from sources other than websites, with one in six reporting their children and grandchildren influence their choice of games.

GfK conducted the online survey for ESA and AARP from March 9 through March 17, 2016 using the GfK KnowledgePanel®, with a nationally representative sample of 2,964 adults age 50 and older (gamers, n=1510; non-gamers, n=1454). The data are weighted at two levels: first, to demographics among total respondents, and second to demographics within the gamer/non-gamer groups of qualified respondents.   


About ESA
ESA offers a wide range of services to interactive entertainment software publishers, including conducting business and consumer research, providing legal and policy analysis and advocacy on First Amendment, intellectual property and technology/e-commerce issues, managing a global content protection program, owning and operating E3 and representing video game industry interests in federal and state government relations. For more information, visit ESA's website or follow us on Twitter at @RichatESA or@ESAGovAffairs.

About AARP
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million that helps people turn their goals and dreams into 'Real Possibilities' by changing the way America defines aging. With staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and promote the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare security, financial security and personal fulfillment. AARP also advocates for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name.  As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation magazine, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. To learn more, visit http://www.aarp.org or follow @aarpand our CEO @JoAnn_Jenkins on Twitter.

Media Contacts:
Dan Hewitt, Entertainment Software Association, 202.223.2400, dhewitt@theESA.com
Tara Dunion, AARP, 202.434.2667, tdunion@aarp.org