Although video games are a popular leisure activity for youth in the US, older adults have been growing more fond of games, spending more time and money with them. A new study [pdf] from the AARP finds that almost half of adults ages 50+ in the US play video games at least once a month, with this figure higher among grandparents (46%) than non-grandparents (43%).
This gap remains true no matter the age of the respondent, but is particularly the case for 50-59-year-olds. Within this age bracket, 58% of grandparents play video games at least monthly, compared to 47% of non-grandparents.
Notably, grandmothers (50%) are more likely than grandfathers (43%) to play video games at least once a month, with the former accounting for 61% share of gaming grandparents.
Among gaming grandparents, three-quarters (76%) agree that “play” is an important part of aging, and half believe gaming is good for them as they get older.
Not surprisingly, spending time with family is more of an influence in game-playing for grandparents than non-grandparents. Among grandparents who play video games at least once a month, 35% said that spending time with family is an extremely (10%) or very (25%) important reason for playing.
Still, this isn’t the primary reason, since gamer grandparents estimate spending 79% of their time playing video games alone rather than with other people online or in person. Moreover, the top motivation for gaming grandparents to play more in the year ahead is finding a game they really like themselves or is specifically appealing to them.
Overall, the leading reason that gaming grandparents play is to have fun (85%), while 8 in 10 play to help stay mentally sharp. This brings to mind past research in which 87% of men and 82% of women surveyed ages 55-64 said that games provide mental stimulation.
For more, check out the AARP study here [pdf].
About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 3,858 grandparents ages 50+ and 3,187 non-grandparents ages 50+.