Thursday, April 05, 2007

Boomers Embrace Casual Games to Keep Sharp

Boomers Embrace Casual Games to Keep Sharp

Anxious about the mental cost of aging, older people are turning to games that rely on quick thinking to stimulate brain activity, according to the New York Times. Casual gaming site PopCap Games, for example, says last year 71 percent of its players were older than 40, and 47 percent were older than 50; moreover, 76 percent of PopCap players were women. is getting similar results. According to Electronic Arts, the game publisher that runs the site, people 50 and older accounted for 28 percent of visitors in February - but also for more than 40 percent of total time spent on the site. And, on average, women spent 35 percent longer on the site each day than men.

"Baby boomers and up are definitely our fastest-growing demographic, and it is because the fear factor is diminishing," said Beatrice Spaine,'s marketing director. "Women come for the games, but they stay for the community. Women like to chat, and these games online are a way to do that. It's kind of a MySpace for seniors."

And, apparently, the Nintendo Wii is becoming a hit in retirement facilities. Baltimore-based Erickson Retirement Communities, which manages 18 campuses around the country with 19,000 total residents, is installing the consoles at each location.

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