36% of Americans over the age of 50 play video games

Gaming isn’t just a young person’s … uh, game.

The Entertainment Software Association (the gaming group that puts on the yearly Electronic Entertainment Expo and represents the U.S. games industry) and the AARP (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons) released the results of a survey that noted that over 41 million Americans play video games. According to the U.S. Census, about 113 million Americans are 50 and older, so about 36 percent of them play games. The info from the study was based on representative data from a pool of 2,964 adults aged 50 and older. Many, including marketers, still think of gaming as an industry geared toward young people. It’s important to remember that electronic entertainment has fans in all demographics — and this helps drives the $99.6 billion global gaming industry.

“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 chief executive of the ESA, noted in a press release sent to GamesBeat. “As Gen X turns 50 and millennials raise tech-centric families, participation will only continue to expand just as games continue to evolve.”

The study also revealed that most 50-plus gamers are more likely to be women (40 percent vs. 35 percent of the men polled). Women are also more likely to game daily (45 percent vs. 35 percent for men). Fifty-plus gamers are most likely to play on PC (59 percent), with mobile following closely behind (57 percent).

Fun was the reason most often cited for why 50-plus gamers play, although some also said that they do it to retain mental sharpness.

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