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View Full Version : CNN: 19 percent of computer and video game players are 50 years old or older


RobertoOrtiz
12-29-2005, 03:28 PM
QUOTE:
"According to the trade group Entertainment Software Association, 19 percent of computer and video game players are 50 years old or older. The senior-citizen share was 9 percent in 1999.
Video games can be useful in maintaining eye-hand coordination as people grow old, said Linda McNeal, a Columbus consultant who works on recreation and activities issues for nursing homes and rehabilitation hospitals.

"It's also very good mental stimulation," according to McNeal, who said nonstop television watching can dull the mind."

http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/fun.games/12/28/granny.gamer.ap/index.html

-R

ThirdEye
12-29-2005, 03:39 PM
To be totally honest i think the hand-eye coordination and the mental stimulation are total bs, games can dull the mind as mcuh as tv if used badly. But from our pov it's good to see many people enjoy games, at least there'll always be the possibility to work in the game industry.

zzacmann
12-29-2005, 03:41 PM
My dad is 55 and he plays video and computer games 10 times more than I do. I dont know if hes as good as my brother and I but he gets so damn obsessed sometimes. I once went to work at 8:00 in the morning and he was in my room playing Metal Gear Solid and when I got home at 9:00 that night, HE WAS STILL PLAYING! HE HADN'T MOVED!

tufif
12-29-2005, 03:51 PM
Now if somebody would inform the politicians of this little fact then maybe they wouldn't use us as the convenient scapegoat quite so often.

AndrewRaZ
12-29-2005, 04:23 PM
oh, it's been brought up. they just don't care.

CupOWonton
12-29-2005, 04:37 PM
To be totally honest i think the hand-eye coordination and the mental stimulation are total bs, games can dull the mind as mcuh as tv. But from our pov it's good to see many people enjoy games, at least there'll always be the possibility to work in the game industry.

It realy depends on how challenging the game is for the mind. Puzzle and Tactics games probably get the most out of a persons mind. And as much as I LOVE Rpg's, unless its got a lot of puzzles, I can usauly feel my brain turning to jello pudding. Near-Death FPS's also get the brain moving. It involves fast reflexes and good timing along with tactical thinking because you can die from a few shots. Not everyone has the same prefrences however, so they may just enjoy Pokemon or Wheel of Fortune.

CLONEOPS
12-29-2005, 07:01 PM
Frankly i don't want to see the elderly playing Quake 4 it's a strain on the health care system.

Array
12-29-2005, 07:37 PM
To be totally honest i think the hand-eye coordination and the mental stimulation are total bs, games can dull the mind as mcuh as tv. But from our pov it's good to see many people enjoy games, at least there'll always be the possibility to work in the game industry.


There was a study done not too long ago that showed that surgeons who played video games tended to make fewer mistakes. Here is a link to the slashdot story:

http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/04/07/0317240&tid=10

Though the story does mentionlaparoscopic surgery, which is surgery that is performed with the aid of joystick-like devices.
(http://abcnews.go.com/wire/Living/ap20040406_2079.html)

cgtalkiest
12-30-2005, 02:38 AM
To be totally honest i think the hand-eye coordination and the mental stimulation are total bs, games can dull the mind as mcuh as tv. But from our pov it's good to see many people enjoy games, at least there'll always be the possibility to work in the game industry.

how can that be total bs? games are 100% hand-eye coordination and reflexes... thats just crazy talk. im not sure wether games dumb the mind or not, depends on what game you play i guess....

anibal187
12-30-2005, 05:41 AM
Which games would they play? The father of a friend plays all the Planes simulators he can buy.

ThirdEye
12-30-2005, 09:40 AM
how can that be total bs? games are 100% hand-eye coordination and reflexes... thats just crazy talk. im not sure wether games dumb the mind or not, depends on what game you play i guess....

I still think that's total bull. It surely can improve the hand-eye coordination, but prolly even using a 3D software or a cell phone does (ever seen how you changed the use of your thumbs after the sms revolution?). I bet an activity like photography needs a much higher eye-hand coordination for example.
And concerning the mental stimulation... Come on let's read a good book or listen to Beethoven if you want some mental stimulation, i fail to recognise any mental stimulation in playing Tekken.

CGmonkey
12-30-2005, 11:24 AM
Are we talking video games as in console video game or video games as in PC-games?

Because PC-games could increase your eye-to-hand coordination and probably keep you're brain more alive than watching tv.

While console games (unless it's a puzzle or something in that fashion) will have the same impact as watching tv.

Frank Lake
12-30-2005, 01:23 PM
I still think that's total bull. It surely can improve the hand-eye coordination, but prolly even using a 3D software or a cell phone does (ever seen how you changed the use of your thumbs after the sms revolution?). I bet an activity like photography needs a much higher eye-hand coordination for example.
And concerning the mental stimulation... Come on let's read a good book or listen to Beethoven if you want some mental stimulation, i fail to recognise any mental stimulation in playing Tekken.
Well then it's a good thing that there aren't games out there that don't force the player to make judgemental decisions within the span of a few microseconds. Ever play speed chess? As for your Tekken point... please tell me how many moves there are in a single character and that there is NO strategy involved against any other character. Oh and your photography point has merit, but ONLY when the person is highly mobile and doesn't have the shakes that 90+% of older people do.

The Eye-Hand coordination is only half of it! The other half is Quick Decision Making based on Tactical thinking.

My dad is, scary mainly because it was Tetris, proof that it does help because after his strokes he couldn't/wasn't allowed to drive(even with passengers). He lost part of his short-term memory & some reaction speed and because of losing those he because easly distrubed and would lose focus. Within 2 years he had his license back and was driving again. Oh and my mom loves to play DOOM & Resident Evil, pretty good for a 56 year old!

ThirdEye
12-30-2005, 01:44 PM
Well then it's a good thing that there aren't games out there that don't force the player to make judgemental decisions within the span of a few microseconds. Ever play speed chess?

yes, speed chess is one of my biggest passions actually

As for your Tekken point... please tell me how many moves there are in a single character and that there is NO strategy involved against any other character. Oh and your photography point has merit, but ONLY when the person is highly mobile and doesn't have the shakes that 90+% of older people do. The Eye-Hand coordination is only half of it! The other half is Quick Decision Making based on Tactical thinking.

Strategy could even exist in a Risk game or in a football match, but i won't come here saying "hey an expert said Risk stimulates your mind..." Yeah, maybe when i was 6. Even being a juggler could mean increasing the eye-hand coordination to the highest level, but i'm far from thinking i'd try to be a juggler because of that. These studies are often financed by those who get a profit from them (i'm talking in general), saying videogames open your mind is just dumb, because there are a ton of comparable activities that have the same effect, it's not like they're superior as those quotes suggest. Saying videogames stimulate the mind means nothing to me because they're not better or worse than any other game My point finally is these things exist in almost every game on earth: checkers and chess, football and golf. On the other hand staying in front of a screen for 5 hours a day playing Doom or Tetris is just a waste of time, not a way to "increase your eye-hand coordination and stimulate your mental abilities". IMHO.

Hazdaz
12-30-2005, 01:51 PM
I think everyone is jumping the gun here and thinking that Grandma and Grandpa are gonna be playing the latest FPS bloodfest... but I think people forget about card games and puzzle games and even electronic boardgames are still games. Same deal with flight simulators and games like Myst.

I am sure there are a few 50+ year olds that play Doom and Madden '06 and stuff like that, but I would be willing to bet that a much larger chunk of the senior crowd plays Tetris and electronic Poker and Minesweep.

I think it's pretty cool either way - more power to them.

JeroenDStout
12-30-2005, 02:21 PM
how can that be total bs? games are 100% hand-eye coordination and reflexes... thats just crazy talk. im not sure wether games dumb the mind or not, depends on what game you play i guess....
I'm pretty sure that during my fathers (49) play of Civilization he didn't use much of either.

I'm so very glad the market is changing. I'm getting fed up with the young-male game culture, it had the nasty habbit of making anything not a young-male game something that had to be justified, mostly by pasting 'girl game' etc. on it. A much broader market should lead to somewhat more innovation or at least less stereotypical game advancements.
Well, I hope. Worst case scenario they'd all be playing Bejeweled all day (which is a terrible infantile game, really, original Boulderdash was fun, Bejeweled looks like it's meant for... for... 3-year-olds - though that is just me).

Sagii
12-30-2005, 03:30 PM
This does not suprise me.. I have read other articles about grand mothers playing Halo and other so called violent games. If I find it fun why cant they? Not all senior citizens play card games and bejeweled. ;)

I am 25 now and I LOVE LOVE videogames... I dont see why they would just suddently turn too boring or complicated one day.. I will probably be a gamer for life.

cgtalkiest
12-30-2005, 03:56 PM
I'm pretty sure that during my fathers (49) play of Civilization he didn't use much of either.

I'm so very glad the market is changing. I'm getting fed up with the young-male game culture, it had the nasty habbit of making anything not a young-male game something that had to be justified, mostly by pasting 'girl game' etc. on it. A much broader market should lead to somewhat more innovation or at least less stereotypical game advancements.
Well, I hope. Worst case scenario they'd all be playing Bejeweled all day (which is a terrible infantile game, really, original Boulderdash was fun, Bejeweled looks like it's meant for... for... 3-year-olds - though that is just me).


o yea, good point i guess.. its just me then... i dont class those kinda games as computer games! u gta kill sumthing dammit! or make it explode! and do it quickly! or else the world as we know it will die! :eek:

d-c-bounce
12-30-2005, 04:46 PM
Just by being 53 hasn't stopped me playing games: I really enjoy HalfLife2 and San Andreas, on the PC, when I'm not working on 3d models for train simulator.
My father and mother who are 79 love adventure games on their PC's: dad reckons it keeps his mind active since his second pair of knees have let go, and mum also plays Hardwood solitaire a lot.

Peter

CupOWonton
12-30-2005, 07:26 PM
I dont think some of the people arguing realise theres a difference between longterm + untimed tactics and puzzle solving on boardgames and such (few exceptions - ex: speed chess) , and reflex puzzle and tactics solving in games that require both advanced tactical/solving 4 dimensional thinking and eye hand coordination.

JeroenDStout
12-30-2005, 10:33 PM
o yea, good point i guess.. its just me then... i dont class those kinda games as computer games! u gta kill sumthing dammit! or make it explode! and do it quickly! or else the world as we know it will die! :eek:
A game's a game, be it Tetris of Doom 3 where there are more pixelshaders and plot elements... I think diversity is exactly what's needed to break the endless amount of world-saving games. I'm just not comfortable being told I'm the long lost hero every blasted time I fire up a game.
Move me, games, move me! Let me... err... love characters and just kill them off like that!

Just bring some loose emotions in game. The closest thing to emotions some games know is having a sad track that plays whilst the main character moves 4 verticles down and starts spraying blue particles around just before the vertex buffer overloads and I have to buy a new card again.

Though that is me! Again! :D

ninus3d
01-02-2006, 09:48 AM
Strategy could even exist in a Risk game or in a football match, but i won't come here saying "hey an expert said Risk stimulates your mind..." Yeah, maybe when i was 6. Even being a juggler could mean increasing the eye-hand coordination to the highest level, but i'm far from thinking i'd try to be a juggler because of that. These studies are often financed by those who get a profit from them (i'm talking in general), saying videogames open your mind is just dumb, because there are a ton of comparable activities that have the same effect, it's not like they're superior as those quotes suggest. Saying videogames stimulate the mind means nothing to me because they're not better or worse than any other game My point finally is these things exist in almost every game on earth: checkers and chess, football and golf. On the other hand staying in front of a screen for 5 hours a day playing Doom or Tetris is just a waste of time, not a way to "increase your eye-hand coordination and stimulate your mental abilities". IMHO.

Right, passionate about a cruicifiction against games or something similiar?
The point here I believe was SENIORS playing games is now becoming an increasing factor and how that was a good thing!
I would say they ARE superior seeing how the recreational activities avaiable for seniors are quite slimmed as health degenerates and I also want to point out another thing;
When you play a game you enjoy it thrills you, getting rewards for doing it well and working intensively to get better etc etc. Games can humour me almost equally good as anything in life and the fact that I can still be entertained as good when im 50-60 as I can today comforts me aswell as it makes me glad to see what it does for them.

If you worked on getting seniors into activity you would rather suggest juggling or football? Chess is a very normal senior activity because unlike juggling and football its something most of them still can do!
Dont be so critical

Sargoth
01-02-2006, 10:13 AM
What ninus said.

heavyness
01-02-2006, 04:36 PM
working in the casual game studios at microsoft, i was shocked when i saw the numbers of gamers that play game and their ages and what they are playing. everyone thinks its just 15 years olds playing Doom in the basement when it turns out its far from that. if anything, the hardcore FPS are a minority when you look at it globally.

my dad and mom plays tetris, spider solitaire, and zuma every day. they play tetris on my old gameboy and the others on the pc. my grandpa played free cell and tracked every game he played, kept a spreadsheet of what games he beat... thats hardcore.

that is why microsoft put xbox arcade in the 360. sure, it has old arcade classics, but hexic hd, zuma, and bejeweled have been ranking up the numbers [and i'm sure a lot of mom's have taken the controller away from little johnny to get their Black Pearl Achievement in Hexic HD]! nintendo knows this to and basically built the revolution around that simple fact anyone can pick it up and play it.

itsallgoode9
01-02-2006, 05:23 PM
yeah, KOLE is right. Those little arcade type of games make up a HUGE chunk of the industry. It's really suprising when you see what percentage of the gaming industry is made up by people that only play these types of games. Everybody has access to them on thier computers, they're free, and you can play them for 2 minutes or 2 hours and have fun either way. Alot of people comment about how games take to long to get into nowadays....heck, i'm even starting to feel that way. I'm just to busy to be have time to play every new game I buy for at least 4 hours before I get heavily interested in it, and then everytime I go back to play i need to make sure I can spend 1-2 hours minimum for it to even be worthwhile to start the system up at all. Those more immersive, larger scale games usually give you more satisfaction if you do have the time to get into it and all the way through it, but less and less people have time to do that anymore. I also really wonder how cell phone games have skewed the statistics of the average age of a video gamer...hmmm.

Brumfield
01-02-2006, 07:09 PM
yes, speed chess is one of my biggest passions actually



Strategy could even exist in a Risk game or in a football match, but i won't come here saying "hey an expert said Risk stimulates your mind..." Yeah, maybe when i was 6. Even being a juggler could mean increasing the eye-hand coordination to the highest level, but i'm far from thinking i'd try to be a juggler because of that. These studies are often financed by those who get a profit from them (i'm talking in general), saying videogames open your mind is just dumb, because there are a ton of comparable activities that have the same effect, it's not like they're superior as those quotes suggest. Saying videogames stimulate the mind means nothing to me because they're not better or worse than any other game My point finally is these things exist in almost every game on earth: checkers and chess, football and golf. On the other hand staying in front of a screen for 5 hours a day playing Doom or Tetris is just a waste of time, not a way to "increase your eye-hand coordination and stimulate your mental abilities". IMHO.


The very interative nature of games alone puts them above watching TV, a 100% passive activity, in terms of mental and even physical (meaning hand-eye coordination and reflexes) stimlation. I don't really see how you can argue with that. Games like Tekken, to use your example, or racing games like Burnout require split second decisions and increased hand-eye coordination and reflexes. How does watching TV help your hand-eye coordination? As far as mental stimlation goes... there are pleanty of games out there with fantastic stories that are just as deep in character development and ideas than any TV show.

I'm not saying videogames are the best way to get mental and physical stimlation, but to call studies like this bs and say they provide no mental or physical stimulation at all is, imo, pretty ignorant.

DevilHacker
01-02-2006, 09:08 PM
My dad is obsessed with the Elder Scrolls Series. So their must be some truth to that survey…
:shrug:

cgtalkiest
01-02-2006, 10:52 PM
The very interative nature of games alone puts them above watching TV, a 100% passive activity, in terms of mental and even physical (meaning hand-eye coordination and reflexes) stimlation. I don't really see how you can argue with that. Games like Tekken, to use your example, or racing games like Burnout require split second decisions and increased hand-eye coordination and reflexes. How does watching TV help your hand-eye coordination? As far as mental stimlation goes... there are pleanty of games out there with fantastic stories that are just as deep in character development and ideas than any TV show.

I'm not saying videogames are the best way to get mental and physical stimlation, but to call studies like this bs and say they provide no mental or physical stimulation at all is, imo, pretty ignorant.

quoted for agreement. i too wanted to comment as soon as i saw this guys post, but i didnt even know where to start. The hand-eye coordination and reflex elements are obvious in computer games so i didnt even know where to start with pointing out how that statement was wrong. Computer games are a fundamental way of testing these things, and i could actually think of no better way to test/improve these skills, all age groups included.

DrFx
01-02-2006, 10:55 PM
My mother (53) likes Tetris-type games and card games, and plays them at incredible speed!
A survey made a couple of years back stated that the average age of players (USA) was 29 with a tendency to increase. I think that's a great thing and could spur more variety of games in an industry that seems fixed on the teenage demographic - NFSU anyone?

ThirdEye
01-03-2006, 09:51 AM
Right, passionate about a cruicifiction against games or something similiar?

no, not really

If you worked on getting seniors into activity you would rather suggest juggling or football? Chess is a very normal senior activity because unlike juggling and football its something most of them still can do!
Dont be so critical

I was talking in general, not in the specific of seniors.

ThirdEye
01-03-2006, 10:05 AM
The very interative nature of games alone puts them above watching TV, a 100% passive activity, in terms of mental and even physical (meaning hand-eye coordination and reflexes) stimlation. I don't really see how you can argue with that. Games like Tekken, to use your example, or racing games like Burnout require split second decisions and increased hand-eye coordination and reflexes. How does watching TV help your hand-eye coordination? As far as mental stimlation goes... there are pleanty of games out there with fantastic stories that are just as deep in character development and ideas than any TV show.

What i meant was really different, maybe i didn't explain it the right way: an ABUSE of games can dull the mind as much as a TV abuse. Both games and TV (or even the internet) are potentially addictive and can cause isolation, that's what i'm saying. Since games require a physical activity (and physical movements are stimulated by the brain) of course there's more activity in games than in TV, but that wasn't what i meant, i thought it was pretty obvious, sorry if it wasn't.

I'm not saying videogames are the best way to get mental and physical stimlation, but to call studies like this bs and say they provide no mental or physical stimulation at all is, imo, pretty ignorant.

I haven't said they provide no stimulation at all, i said there are a lot of other activities that are comparable to games. Studies that try to convince me that games can improve my coordination or my mental activity as if games were SUPERIOR to other activities (and no, i don't consider watching tv as an "activity", it's a "passivity" as you already said) well... i consider them bs :shrug:. I feel them as if they were trying to tell me "hey spend some more money on games, you won't regret it because they can stimulate your mind and improve your mental capabilities"

PhantomDesign
01-03-2006, 09:34 PM
And concerning the mental stimulation... Come on let's read a good book or listen to Beethoven if you want some mental stimulation, i fail to recognise any mental stimulation in playing Tekken.
Listening to Beethoven as a mental stimulant is more likely to be BS than videogames being a mental stimulant. I never turn on music, and (not bragging, just stating) I'm very intelligent. Being hand-fed (tv, books, music) would rate high on my list of mind-numbing activites. Depending on the video-game & playstyles, I'd argue that video games are a mental stimulant. Development of strategies, reflexes, the interactivity - especailly multiplayer (versus, not cooperative) games.

I've noticed that after playing video games, I tend to think faster, work faster, type faster, etc. If I've been reading, watching TV, or someone turn on music all day, I tend to work significantly slower.

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