It's easy to think that video games are a young person's territory alone, but that's not quite the case. A surprising number of elderly individuals use the hobby as a way to test their wits, retain their fine motor skills, and -- most importantly -- have fun.
Some of our readers may have heard of Shirley Curry, the "Skyrim Grandma." Curry is a prominent elderly YouTuber that has used her charm and witty sense of humor to amass a sizable fanbase of over 700,000 subscribers who eagerly follow her every adventure in the world of Skyrim; with and without mods.
She's become so beloved by the community that Bethesda chose to immortalize her in the next Elder Scrolls title via facial scan and voice recording tech.
Curry isn't the only elderly, gaming-related content creator out there. As Kotaku reported today, 89-year-old Tokyo resident Hamako Mori has been playing video games for close to a whopping 40 years; starting with the original Cassette Vision console, and later moving on to titles like Dragon Quest and the original Legend of Zelda. Much like Curry, Mori uploads videos of her gaming escapades to YouTube.
Mori's following isn't quite as large as her peer's, but she nonetheless enjoys sharing her adventures with the world. As of writing, she has roughly 29,000 subscribers on YouTube, and most of her videos are quite positively received.
So, why does Mori continue to play games at her age; aside from the obvious entertainment benefits? "If you play video games, you don't get dementia," Mori said in an interview. While she's likely not speaking literally here, there may well be some merit to her belief. Video games, particularly more complex singleplayer RPGs like Skyrim, can stretch your mental muscles quite a bit during extended sessions.
In the interview, Mori also marvels at the visuals newer titles offer compared to the classic games she remembers from her childhood. "The graphics for the recent games are truly amazing," she states. She's certainly not wrong -- due to her age, she's been able to experience many graphical revolutions in the video game industry. She's seen franchises like The Legend of Zelda shift from a bundle of colored pixels to massive, open-world 3D experiences with hundreds of hours of content.
Looking forward, Mori hopes to be gaming and uploading videos for years to come. In particular, she's looking forward to major upcoming AAA titles like GTA 6 and The Elder Scrolls VI.