Saturday, February 11, 2006

Gray Gamers

Over at Slashdot I was reminded of the free and highly addicted PopCap Games - Bookworm.

The article was just a link to this CNN Money article about the legions of gamers who are over 50 and what they like and how they are being ignored.

I am sure you my reader, like me, know people who are Solitaire or other PC games addicts. They get their fix from free or low cost discount bin games. Often older, often women once they have access to a PC they can use however they want they spend hours on slow games.
The Entertainment Software Association reports that 19 percent of the people playing video games are 50 or older. That's a huge jump from 1999, when players of that age group made up just 9 percent of the gaming world.

Warren Spector, founder of Junction Point Studios and one of the industry's most celebrated designers, called game makers on the carpet about this in a keynote address to the Montreal International Games Summit last November.

"Older players have different life experiences, trust me," he said. "And they want and demand different kinds of content. ... Skateboarding? Not part of my life, particularly. Urban thuggery? Not interested. Extreme sports? It's been a while for me."

There are some exceptions, of course. Take Two Interactive Software's (Research) "Civilization IV," the latest installment in the award-winning strategy games, is just as welcoming to older players as it is to young ones. And Nintendo's "Nintendogs" reached out to a broad audience that typically ignored games, including boomers and seniors.

By and large, though, the gray gamer is a revenue stream that's not being tapped.
I always get a perverse kick out of business-speak. Do you like always being refered to as a maple tree they can screw a nozzle in and suck dollars out?

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