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As someone who's closer to 60 these days than they are 20, I'm always curious about what sexagenarians are playing on their own computers and consoles - and quite possibly mobile phones, too. Well, I say always curious - what I mean is, I've got a survey here that tells us what over-60s are playing, I'm going to pick out some facts from it, but I need to pad this out a bit so Google doesn't have a shitfit. Glad we're on the same page, now - although, sadly, I am closer to 60 than 20, and yes everything hurts.
According to new research from, um, energyhelpline.com - it's always something that wants your money, you know how this goes by now - the average over-60 in the United Kingdom spends over 400 hours a year playing video games. IKR, your nan is no-scoping noobs for breakfast, has been since the lobbies of MW2, potty-mouthing her way to notoriety, this isn't news to you. What might be: while one in seven of these older gamers is delighting in Call of Duty play, it's less-intense, what-you-might-call-casual-games-but-I-swear-we-need-to-retire-this-hardcore-casual-dichotomy titles that remain most popular with the age group.
Please enjoy this video of a man in his 90s absolutely loving Forza.
Okay, that probably doesn't surprise you, at all. The champion of OAP high scores is Candy Crush and, uh, yeah, obviously. Tetris - pretty much the only 10/10 game ever made and don't @ me I'm objectively correct (I know you love it when journalists are objective) - is also exceptionally popular, while FIFA and Call of Duty rank higher than the more relaxed vibes of Minecraft. Surprisingly - or not - there's a solid chunk of the over-60s who are enjoying Grand Theft Auto, too. Of those surveyed, 49% play games on their phones, 40% on a tablet, and just 12% on a PlayStation 4.
More importantly than any of that, though, the survey of over 2,000 people shows that 30% of the over-60s participating found that gaming was good for their mental health, and 30% enjoyed it as a way to "escape reality". Yep. Around a fifth of those surveyed enjoyed the social side of modern gaming, saying that it was a great way to tackle loneliness - something a lot of elderly people in the UK have experienced to a greater degree during the pandemic, when they've not been able to see friends and relatives as often as they'd like.
A spokesperson for energyhelpline.com offered a statement in the press release that I'm taking all of this information from without questioning any of it, saying, rightly: "With older generations looking for new ways to socialise and tackle loneliness, it's no wonder many have turned to video games, with our research revealing that gaming is an acceptable way for all to socialise, regardless of age." Which is very true. They then add something about using their site to save on your energy bills and look, guys - unless you've got some talking meerkats to sell me, I'm out.
Featured Image Credit: Silver Snipers Esports
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