New research shows ‘record numbers’ of UK people aged 55+ play video games

New research has revealed that 42 per cent of British people aged between 55 and 64 – and one in four (27 per cent) of the 65+ population – have played video games in the last five years.

The survey – which assessed the views of 2,000 UK adults as part of the Must Play May campaign – reports “record numbers” of the 55+ population is “regularly playing games”, with one in five grandparents sitting down to play with grandchildren and 40 per cent reporting that they play regularly with their own kids.

While it’s anecdotally still thought that gaming chiefly appeals to younger people, the report also confirmed that while 85 per cent of under 35s state they frequently pick up a controller, 75 per cent of the polled aged 35-44 also played video games. While 40 per cent of that group jumped on to play with their kids, 31 per cent said they played games to relax.

40 per cent of 60+-year-old players reportedly play strategy games “to keep the brain in tip-top shape”, whilst 20 per cent enjoy multiplayer games “to earn brownie points and keep up with their grandchildren”.

Must Play May has also explored what games were most popular across all age groups. According to the research, platformers like LEGO The Incredibles and DC Super-Villain were most popular, as well as racing games such as Forza Horizon 4 and Dirt Rally 2.0, and football titles such as FIFA 19.

It’ll be interesting to see how mobile and next-gen developments will affect these demographics in the next few years, particularly as hardware developers experiment with disc-less consoles, such as Microsoft’s digital-only Xbox One S and Google’s streaming system, Stadia.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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