More Gen Xers and Baby Boomers are playing games

midian182

Posts: 6,778   +61
Staff member
Why it matters: Many years ago, video games were considered a pastime reserved for younger people—something you "grow out of." That outdated view changed, thankfully, and today we're seeing more people over the age of 50 enjoying games than ever before.

According to a new report from GWI (via Gamesindustry.biz), the number of gamers aged between 55 – 64 (aka Baby Boomers) has grown 32% since 2018. The puzzle/platform genre is the favorite among this demographic (27%), followed by shooters (24%) then adventure/open-world (22%).

Looking at a broader age range, it's revealed that 32% of Gen X and Boomers (ages 38 – 64) who use the internet play games every day; that's only 5 percent less than Gen Z and millennials (ages 16 – 37). Another stereotype that no longer rings true is that that most gamers are single males. Just 3% more male participants play games daily than females, and 33% of both sexes are married.

Elsewhere, it's found that 86% of internet users play games, and 24% of grandparents and parents see playing games together as family time.

"Gamers are often portrayed in the media in a certain way, but as with many stereotypes, they aren't necessarily who you think they are," said David Melia, VP of sports and gaming at Global Web Index.

The pandemic has played a big part in the video game boom. Since the Covid-19 outbreak, 30% of those surveyed in the US and UK say they are playing games more than before. The report also asked which ninth-gen console people were planning to buy. Sony's PS5 (55%) leads the Xbox Series X (30%)—not that finding either machine is easy right now.

Masthead image credit: oneinchpunch

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QuantumPhysics

Posts: 4,882   +5,403
Got to keep your mind occupied while you're literally watching your economy and society tearing itself apart outside.

During the beginning of the pandemic, Eagle Dynamics hooked me by letting me play all the DCS Modules free - which I later purchased. There were a lot of STEAM sales designed to get people focused on gaming, rather than current events.

Games have become more accessible and with the proliferation of Oculus Quest 2, more innovative.

Unfortunately, we've lost the Dance and Rhythm/Music games that dominated PS3, Xbox360 and Wii.
 

George Keech

Posts: 33   +33
I am really interested in the Big Xbox Vs PS5 Difference, Given MS have not done anything majorly bad PR wise. Both Don't have any exclusives currently anyway and the Hardware gap seems to be relatively small (on Paper Xbox is faster but seems very tit for tat at the moment)

Might just be momentum from the last Generation, if you have a PS4 full of games that are back compatible it makes sense
 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 297   +430
I called it some time ago that Nvidia was behind the whole Covid thing - they were the reason it all started so they could milk the world for all it's worth.

Nvidia's new Road Map:
1 - Start a pandemic to get folks holed up and playing more games
2 - ?????
3 - Profit!
 

sorten

Posts: 81   +119
I hope I don't get too old for gaming for a long time, considering that gaming and travel are two of my priorities in retirement.

Gen Xers, including myself, grew up with and were the first generation of gamers, so I'm not surprised we're still playing games. And when you take away movie theaters and the pub for a year, you need something to fill that extra free time.
 

Nobina

Posts: 3,044   +2,839
I called it some time ago that Nvidia was behind the whole Covid thing - they were the reason it all started so they could milk the world for all it's worth.

Nvidia's new Road Map:
1 - Start a pandemic to get folks holed up and playing more games
2 - ?????
3 - Profit!
Invented crypto and organized scalper groups.
 

BSim500

Posts: 793   +1,745
Gen X-ers like myself "came of age" with Doom (1993), LucasArts vs Sierra, DOS to Windows transition and before this the Golden Era of micro-computers (Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, etc), arcades and arcade machines. Why are people "surprised" that we aren't "new" to video games? LOL.

Same goes for Baby Boomer stereotypes, which generation of engineers / coders do people think founded the early GPU companies like Array Technology Inc (1985)? Huge LOL at the young kids who say "Never heard of them. I own an AMD card instead"... :D
 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 297   +430
I am 57 and I have been gaming for the last 27 years without stopping.

I turned 40 this year and I've been gaming since I can remember when I was very little, maybe 2.
* It started back on the C64 and the Atari 2600.
* Then when I was about 6 years old we got a NES.
* I found my way to the PC (DOS, baby) and Windows 3.1. I learned how to install games and navigate DOS. A few of my favorite PC games around this time were Commander Keen and Duke Nukem.
* I spent hours and countless quarters in the local Arcades as well.
* Then the TurboGrafx 16, and GameBoy.
* Then SNES & Sega Genesis and my brother and I converted one of our SNES to a Super Famicom and even owned a few Japanese games for it, but we couldn't read or understand Japanese so we never got far in the games.
* Then a Sega 32X adaptor.....

I fell out of console gaming with the PS3 - I owned a couple dozen games for it, but rarely played them. Strictly PC gaming now.....but that may end if my 980Ti dies and I can't find a replacement GPU (F this stupid "shortage" $hit).
 

Lounds

Posts: 805   +717
I'm in an Oculus Quest group on Facebook and the majority of people seem to be in their 40s with people as old as their 70s sharing gameplay and content.
 

waclark

Posts: 48   +42
I hope I don't get too old for gaming for a long time, considering that gaming and travel are two of my priorities in retirement.

Gen Xers, including myself, grew up with and were the first generation of gamers, so I'm not surprised we're still playing games. And when you take away movie theaters and the pub for a year, you need something to fill that extra free time.
Gen Xers were the first generation of gamers? I think the Baby Boomers were a bit ahead of you. Ever play Lunar Lander on a PDP-8? Or Artillery, where the output was a line printer?
 

poohbear

Posts: 629   +546
Gen X-ers like myself "came of age" with Doom (1993), LucasArts vs Sierra, DOS to Windows transition and before this the Golden Era of micro-computers (Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, etc), arcades and arcade machines. Why are people "surprised" that we aren't "new" to video games? LOL.

Same goes for Baby Boomer stereotypes, which generation of engineers / coders do people think founded the early GPU companies like Array Technology Inc (1985)? Huge LOL at the young kids who say "Never heard of them. I own an AMD card instead"... :D

Ya I don't see any surprises that Gen Xers are into video games? Many of us were teenagers in the 90s, we grew up with this stuff!
 

BobHome

Posts: 100   +44
Um, there are a lot of us Baby Boomers older than 64 since the term came about from the 'boom' in baby births after WWII, so the oldest BBers would be 75 now.
Or do they just stop counting at 64? :eek:

btw, my first home system was the Bally Professional Arcade in 1978. It even had a BASIC programming cassette tape, but only 1800 bytes of space to store programs in; I filled it all up many times. And I played on the PDP-8 and PDP-16 systems during breaks, too.
 
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Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,812   +1,967
TechSpot Elite
It seems I'm a bit of a noob here when it comes to computer gaming. But I still have my 5.25" floppy of Microsoft Olympic Decathalon and my box set for Wizardry, both ©1981. No gaming during the '70s for me, I think I still knew what the outdoors looked like then.
 

sorten

Posts: 81   +119
Gen Xers were the first generation of gamers? I think the Baby Boomers were a bit ahead of you. Ever play Lunar Lander on a PDP-8? Or Artillery, where the output was a line printer?
Haha, good references. No, I did not. I got started on the Atari 2600 in the 70's. First PC games were on the Osborne and the Atari Sinclair in 1980 or so.

I don't doubt that some uber geeks played games before Gen Xers picked it up in the mid to late 70's, but I still stand by my comment about ours being the first generation of gamers. As in, a significant number of us grew up gaming.
 

BobHome

Posts: 100   +44
Haha, good references. No, I did not. I got started on the Atari 2600 in the 70's. First PC games were on the Osborne and the Atari Sinclair in 1980 or so.

I don't doubt that some uber geeks played games before Gen Xers picked it up in the mid to late 70's, but I still stand by my comment about ours being the first generation of gamers. As in, a significant number of us grew up gaming.
Oops, showing your age there. The Sinclair ZX80 computer was from Timex/Sinclair, not Atari.
And let us not forget the Atari Portfolio foldable computer. One of our user group members used one for his sales business.
 
I called it some time ago that Nvidia was behind the whole Covid thing - they were the reason it all started so they could milk the world for all it's worth.

Nvidia's new Road Map:
1 - Start a pandemic to get folks holed up and playing more games
2 - ?????
3 - Profit!

makes no sense. nvidia has crypto mining as a cash cow
 

adamada72

Posts: 14   +9
Oops, showing your age there. The Sinclair ZX80 computer was from Timex/Sinclair, not Atari.
And let us not forget the Atari Portfolio foldable computer. One of our user group members used one for his sales business.

Boomers were obviously the first gamers, your gen basically invented video games and they became popular in bars first. But they were quickly labeled a kids activity and my gen became the target market. I personally saw maybe a hand full of guys over 30 in arcades in the 80's. It just wasn't something boomers did, not a social norm unfortunately. So I totally agree, technically boomers were the first but Gen X was where it became part of our culture and so I'd give that gen the title.
 

Angga B

Posts: 135   +117
Us gen-X ers are the real gamers. We game on texts, on dots, on pixels, on black on white, on grayscales.
 

waclark

Posts: 48   +42
Yes, because it was common in the late 60's/early 70's to have a PDP8 in your loungeroom...
No, it wasn't common. And neither were home computers then. Video game consoles, for the most part, came out in the mid-late 70s. Most people had access to computers via college or work, hence why Gen-Xers weren't the first generation to video game. Most of them weren't old enough to have jobs or be in college in 1975.
 

Lozzy

Posts: 11   +19
Gen X-ers like myself "came of age" with Doom (1993), LucasArts vs Sierra, DOS to Windows transition and before this the Golden Era of micro-computers (Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, etc), arcades and arcade machines. Why are people "surprised" that we aren't "new" to video games? LOL.

This.

Been gaming since I was 4. Been PC gaming since I was about 8. Now I'm 45, and getting a bit bored of it all. It's all so samey ever since the consoles made it big business and the money-men took control. I thought Cyberpunk might be my last good PC-first AAA game, but the money-men screwed that up too.
 

AMN3S1AC

Posts: 57   +28
No, it wasn't common. And neither were home computers then. Video game consoles, for the most part, came out in the mid-late 70s. Most people had access to computers via college or work, hence why Gen-Xers weren't the first generation to video game. Most of them weren't old enough to have jobs or be in college in 1975.

I think you misunderstood the tone of the comment you were replying to.