Older Gamers Feel Ignored in Contemporary Gaming Industry
Although gamers over the age of forty are playing in increasing numbers, the gaming industry is largely geared towards younger audiences. This bias sometimes leads to older gamers feeling excluded and ignored. It’s not just the games themselves, but the marketing and current design trends that make many gamers over 40 feel left out.
One of the common trends that makes older gamers feel excluded is the implementation of motion control systems, like the PlayStation Move and the Nintendo Wii. Although motion control systems require physical movement, this type of gaming generally appeals to younger players more than older gamers who have physical limitations. Furthermore, the content of many motion-controlled games is also geared towards a younger audience, which can be alienating to older players.
The marketing for many games is also geared towards younger players, often featuring younger characters and celebrity endorsements that appeal to a younger demographic. For example, much of the hype surrounding the release of “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” was celebrity-driven and targeted towards a younger audience. Older gamers feel that their presence is mostly ignored, as there is little marketing done specifically to appeal to them.
The trend towards digital distribution and downloads has also alienated some older gamers. Although many players enjoy the convenience of being able to just download a new game, others still prefer physical copies and find digital downloads somewhat intimidating. This is compounded by the fact that many digital stores have unintuitive interfaces that are more difficult to navigate than physical retail stores, making it much harder for older gamers to find what they’re looking for.
Finally, older gamers can also feel excluded by changes in gameplay design and difficulty. Today, many developers are eschewing traditional difficulty options in favor of games that are relatively easy to play. This can be alienating for experienced players who want to be challenged, as more difficult games are becoming increasingly rare.
Although gamers over the age of forty are playing in growing numbers, the gaming industry often fails to recognize them, making them feel ignored and excluded. From motion control systems to digital downloads and games with easier difficulty levels, older gamers often feel that they are forgotten in the modern gaming industry.