When asked to picture a “gamer”, most conjure up the image of a young man playing video games in his basement with plenty of caffeinated beverages surrounding him. This has not been an entirely inaccurate image of who the gaming industry was marketing to for a very long time.
It turns out, this was exactly the demography that they decided to sell to. However, that has started to change somewhat in recent years, and now female game players and others are starting to come back into the industry.
When gaming became so male-focused
It turns out that gaming was not something easily categorised as being “for boys” or “for girls” for a very long time. It was actually a much more gender-neutral endeavour for many years. However, there was a great collapse in the popularity of video games for some time during the early to mid 1980’s.
A series of poorly produced video games lead to disinterest among players. As such, the industry sought out solutions to their marketing and sales problem. They decided that it would be more profitable for them to market to only one of the sexes. They selected to focus their efforts only on boys.
The female gamer makes a comeback
While making video games only “for boys” for a period of time seemed like a good strategy for a while, it eventually stopped making sense as well. The idea that girls should not be interested in video games is now a more taboo belief in society than it once was. Now, the gaming companies must consider a larger audience for their games.
Data shows that female players over 55 are big gamers
It flies in the face of the old stereotype we have in our heads about who likes to play video games, but it turns out that women over the age of 55 are some of the biggest game players out there. They tend to like desktop or PC games, but they are also known to be big consumers of smartphone and tablet games as well.
This type of player tends to like throwback games like Crash Bandicoot and the Sims. They may also be interested in games that simulate gambling such as slot machine-style games. They are now a prime target in the market for phone-based games without question. Those who are developing games for smartphones these days must consider the over-55 female player.
Health benefits for older players
Research from Currys points to the fact that video games can have health benefits for all players, particularly those who are over the age of fifty-five. It states that these players see improvements in their processing speed, mechanical intelligence, and even their social skills. It helps to maintain and preserve those skills that they have already developed over the course of their life while at the same time adding on to them as well.
The players can feel these benefits in their souls it seems. According to the same study, when Twitter was searched for tweets related to gaming, about eighty percent of the tweets were of a positive nature. People on Twitter wanted to let others know just how much gaming means to them and how it has helped them out over time. It is a good sign for the industry, and it is pleasant research for game players to read as well.
All signs point to the fact that people should continue playing video games. If they are not already players, perhaps they should consider picking up a controller and getting to it. It appears to be the case that there are many benefits to doing so.