“Entertainment for Retirement?”: Silvergamers and the Internet

Daniel Schultheiss

Abstract

In recent years, Internet video gaming has grown exponentially amongst a non-traditional and non-targeted group of gamers: those over 50 years of age. In the United States alone, elderly gamers have grown from nine percent of all gamers in 1999 to over 25 percent of all gamers as of 2009. The current study specifically examines elderly peoples’ usage behaviors with Internet-based video games. Such participation has been aided by the fact that games are social in nature and are accessible in terms ownership and operation. The process of becoming an Internet gamer therefore requires little more than a simple computer, an Internet connection, and a desire to be entertained. Results show that so-called “silvergamers” prefer casual games as opposed to more complex and persistent games. In addition, this paper raises further insights into their behaviour as users, including usage time and expenses for game usage, and situates them within the context of elderly gamers as an economic potential group to be targeted more.

Keywords

video games, online games, MMORPGs, elderly, silvergamers, targeting

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