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Attack of the Gaming Grannies

Zonk posted about 9 years ago | from the old-grandma-hardcore dept.

Games 41

Craig Sender writes "BusinessWeek Online has a piece on the expansion of the gaming market into the octogenarian, market." From the article: "Though some may find it surprising, the senior gaming trend isn't hard to understand. For starters, many folks living on Social Security find they don't have a lot of money for entertainment or travel, and video gaming is a fun and affordable diversion, especially if you rent games or trade titles on the Internet."

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wait a minute... (1)

boisepunk (764513) | about 9 years ago | (#13829070)

it isn't April 1st, what's this story doing on here?

Re:wait a minute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13829096)

I'm old.
Shut up and let me game.

Re:wait a minute... (1)

Walt Dismal (534799) | about 9 years ago | (#13829249)

One word: Unreal Tournament Resthome.

Re:wait a minute... (2, Interesting)

Iriel (810009) | about 9 years ago | (#13829259)

No jokes here. I know several senior citizens who have some clunker of a peoplePC computer that's just good enough to run simple internet games and their only bookmarks are Yahoo! Games and Popcap. Then again, when the the current gamers get older, this trend won't seem so out of the ordinary because we haven't shown any signs of 'growing out of gaming'.

Re:wait a minute... (1)

Meagermanx (768421) | about 9 years ago | (#13829584)

...and then today's 12 year olds grow old, and begin squinting and spouting
  "What are you kids doing, sitting around that table talking? What's all this 'paper' stuff, and why are you writing on it with pencils? Goldurn it, when I was young we socialized and played real Role-Playing Games with other people online! Did you whippersnappers take my XBOX cord? I need to play some Halo! Oh, there it is, under my 50 Cent T-Shirt."

Re:wait a minute... (1)

Iriel (810009) | about 9 years ago | (#13829703)

Funny, but I've been an avid table-top gamer for about 12 years now (just over half my life! damn I'm a nerd), so I don't think that reference works on me. Then again, from the way your post is written, I'm not entirely sure if it would apply to you either...

That's the beauty of PnP games: they never died, and they never will. Just wait until we're old and embarassing our grandkids while we huddle around the table yelling "c'mon 20s! Daddy needs a crit to kill!"

Re:wait a minute... (1)

Admiral Frosty (919523) | about 9 years ago | (#13830218)

Dear god lets hope not. I will disown my generation if I must...

In America, ... (1)

bcat24 (914105) | about 9 years ago | (#13829093)

... only old people play video games!

In the Soviet Union... (1)

modi123 (750470) | about 9 years ago | (#13830053)

... video games play old people!

My mother... (1)

Shads (4567) | about 9 years ago | (#13829140)

... isn't of social security age but she's started gaming, she's on a pretty limited income and isn't capable of high degrees of physical activity... gaming is her perfect outlet really. She started small, bejeweled, tetris, pacman, solitare... and she's been moving up since. She gets alot of enjoyment out of it... I don't think it's all that odd really. I'd like to see her get into fps's but thus far she hasn't.

Re:My mother... (1)

westlake (615356) | about 9 years ago | (#13833313)

I'd like to see her get into fps's but thus far she hasn't.

A better place to begin might be the Lucas Arts adventures or The Longest Journey.

My grandmother games (2, Funny)

thesandtiger (819476) | about 9 years ago | (#13829212)

She is addicted to Pogo - Word Whomp! especially.

Recently she had knee replacement surgery and, while in the recovery room was aparrently spelling out words: "Gear. G. E. A. R. Gear. Don't forget rage - Rage. R. A. G. E. Rage."

I'm trying to imagine her on XBox Live! and it sends me into giggle fits. She used to be a school teacher and was the disciplinarian - she'd whip those l33t k1dd3z into shape!

hardcore psshhh.... (1)

endersadvocate (920247) | about 9 years ago | (#13829246)

old grandma hardcore aint hardcore... that is until she learns leet speek. thats what makes someone hardcore.

Re:hardcore psshhh.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13829287)

3y3 @m 0ld 9r4ndm4 H4rdc0r3! I 4m t3h 31337! Ph34r m3, j00 p0s3rz!

I for one... (1)

SharpFang (651121) | about 9 years ago | (#13829272)

I for one welcome our gaming granny overlords.

Re:I for one... (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | about 9 years ago | (#13829521)

Hmmm, imagine a Beowulf cluster of gaming grannies!

Re:I for one... (1)

bcat24 (914105) | about 9 years ago | (#13829880)

In Soviet Russia, a Beowulf cluster of gaming grannies imagine YOU!

Coming soon to an arcade near you: Granny DDR! (2, Funny)

GlenRaphael (8539) | about 9 years ago | (#13829314)

Her dance is really fast and she jumps real far!

She's a terror on In The Groove and D-D-R;

It's the little old lady from Pasadena...

Re:Coming soon to an arcade near you: Granny DDR! (1)

Daysaway (916732) | about 9 years ago | (#13829416)

Hmm.. Interesting. Who manufactures Artificial Hip's? I am looking to make an investement.

Re:Coming soon to an arcade near you: Granny DDR! (1)

Headcase88 (828620) | about 9 years ago | (#13829424)

I want to see a video of her playing Pandy Expert :P

Incidentally, while I'm posting, who thinks this market will catch on to the Revolution (The Nintendo one, not Dance Dance).

These senile delinquints, layabouts in lace... (1)

SolemnDragon (593956) | about 9 years ago | (#13829368)

You think about it- retirees, with lots of free time, not a lot of mobility in some cases, and in all cases, they've seen enough to have an appreciation for where gaming comes from that the youngest gamers just don't have...

it seems pretty natural.

Maybe the answer to the game design is similar to the answer to getting games aimed at women- involve some in the design. I'm sure there are some out there who would be great at it.

Re:These senile delinquints, layabouts in lace... (1)

yhnmzw (923124) | about 9 years ago | (#13830787)

Old-people games would require managable controllers, and would call for games that do not mean repetitive strain injuries.

That means gameplay must be engaging, not mechanical; and calling for thought/experience as opposed to button mashing.

Arrrrr (0, Troll)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | about 9 years ago | (#13829396)

video gaming is a fun and affordable diversion, especially if you rent games or trade titles on the Internet. BusinessWeekOnline advocating that seniors pirate video games?

Re:Arrrrr (1)

jangobongo (812593) | about 9 years ago | (#13829860)


Maybe they are doing it legitimately at Game Trading Zone [] , where people can trade their used video games.

Re:Arrrrr (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13829920)

I thought you were asked to stay of /. TMM. You worthless pile of human shit with nothing intelligent to say. Go away please.

Re:Arrrrr (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13830931)

When was he asked to stay off Slashdot, AC? Have a link for us?

Re:Arrrrr (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13831283)

Yes, how about this [] , I'm sure there are others but it's a start. Now kindly go fuck yourself. Thx :)

Re:Arrrrr (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13832271)

That's insulting. Check the times on these posts. You just put that there. I'm not gonna fall for that.

Give me a REAL link, thx. This will be interesting.

Re:Arrrrr (1)

hunterx11 (778171) | about 9 years ago | (#13830164)

Haven't you ever seen Monty Python's The Meaning of Life? Don't misunderestimate senior citizen pirates!

Re:Arrrrr (1)

KillShill (877105) | about 9 years ago | (#13832331)

no they're advocating people karma whore. ;-)

It's better than other options (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13829886)

such as, perhaps, "Hell's Grannies".

I know someone on Halo 2 that is 59 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13830430)

I play with a guy on Halo 2 that is 59 years old. He says he doesn't like all that dirty talking or cheatin' but since he's retired he just likes to sit at home and play Halo 2. I'll see him at 8 am before I go to week, 12pm when I go home for lunch and 6pm when I get home from work. Not that I play Halo 2 all those times... or do I?

Re:I know someone on Halo 2 that is 59 (1)

Allison Geode (598914) | about 9 years ago | (#13831874)

I'd love to play with him. the biggest thing thats turned me off from halo 2 is the rude behavior of all the players: I don't like all that dirty talking either... and I'm only 24.

Needle on the camels back. (1)

St. Arbirix (218306) | about 9 years ago | (#13830626)

If I ever figure out that that asshole who's been trash talking about me and generally being a prick is some 82 year old holed up in some retirement home... that'd be it. I'd quit. No more gaming for me.

Re:Needle on the camels back. (1)

bcat24 (914105) | about 9 years ago | (#13832020)

Wasn't it a straw that broke the camel's back?

Re:Needle on the camels back. (1)

St. Arbirix (218306) | about 9 years ago | (#13838535)

Aww, damn. I'm turning into the bartender in Boondock Saints.

Grand Theft Walker? FiniteQuest?... (1)

first_tracks (919961) | about 9 years ago | (#13830808)

Grand Theft Walker?
Sim Retirement Home?
Denture Kong?
Shuffle Shuffle Revolution?


Re:Grand Theft Walker? FiniteQuest?... (1)

thelonestranger (915343) | about 9 years ago | (#13834303)

Grand Theft Walker......With hidden Hot Coco content.

no surprise (1)

ecumenical_40oz (914889) | about 9 years ago | (#13832267)

The only reason video gaming was ever identified with youth in the first place has to do with the first systems being portrayed as toys, rather than entertainment. This is changing, of course, and in a couple decades seeing a buttoned-down senior citizen with a controller in hand will seem no stranger than seeing one in front of the TV.

Onligatory (1)

amliebsch (724858) | about 9 years ago | (#13833252)

In Korea, only old

My parents (who are grandparents) game (1)

cjmnews (672731) | about 9 years ago | (#13836624)

My mom calls my son for help on Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance, and discusses how they beat Gauntlet Dark Legacy, and ask if I have finished with Champions of Norrath so they can play it.

I can see the grandparent gaming getting going. If they had broadband we'd both pickup Champions of Norrath and play together. They are considering picking up AntiGrav for exercise, though I can see that this may be a bit much for them.

There are issues with grandparents gaming:
1. They do not have the reaction time, so platformers and timing based areas are tough (Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance stone jumping puzzle)
2. They may not have the ability to learn complicated controls (Lord of the Rings Return of the King)
3. They can have issues with saving progress, my parents have beat both Baldur's gate games, and keep overwriting the characters with new ones, and losing their built up ones (not what they want to do).
4. Complex procedures for starting games can be frustrating, especially when trying to load previous characters. They seem to learn one way to start a game, and are unwilling or unable to try something different. (My parents have yet to figure out how to start a harder Baldur's Gate game with their old characters, Lord of the Rings Return of the King has too many steps for them to remember how to load their saved characters).
5. They are unaware of so will call you with help on games you haven't played in 2 years and expect you to know the details on the spot.

Now maybe my parents are bit more clueless than some, maybe better than others I do not know. I haven't dealt with many grandparent gamers. They do try though, other games they have tried are Myst 3, Motocross Mayhem, Dance Dance Revolution, and others.

It's funny to hear my Mom who is typically glued to a TV say "we're recording our show so we can play..."

But it is also great that my parents have another connection with my kids as they are playing the same games.
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