Jump to content
moodorf

Is it me, or are middle-aged/elderly people underpresented in modern gaming

Recommended Posts

I know this topic should have a question mark, but i ran out of space :P

 

I had this thought the other day in chat with someone. Is it me, or are older/middle-aged people underrepresented in video games? I tried to think of some examples and of the three that came to mind, two were:

 

-Grandma from The Legend of Zelda Wind Waker

-Snake from Metal Gear Solid 4 (who technically isn't even old, but has some sort of Progeria)

 

The third person I thought of was Hitman, from the Hitman series. Who by the way, didn't get the movie treatment he deserved. The people who made the movie re-wrote his character to be in his 30's large_sMA8hNVH7hd1TqXwA2qhCYvijQA.jpg

 

ugh. An older "Hitman" would be a better assassin because by the time you're middle-aged, you'd have a much more advanced understanding of human behavior and that would translate into being a better hitman.

 

Is it just me? I'm always willing to accept the idea that i'm completely wrong and have been making an ass out of myself.

Edited by moodorf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Middle and old age gamers are more difficult to market to. They have become more cynical and critical of whatever bullshit the marketing teams spew forth. They are:

 

Harder to fool.

Harder to sell to.

Harder to pick up as customers.

Less tolerant of bullshit and bugs.

More choosy in the wares they purchase.

Are more likely to form their own opinion of things.

Are more likely to see through facades and crappy content.

Expect things to work and be of quality.

Are not associated with fast action characters in games.

 

And many more things. So game companies (and reviewers) spend less time focusing on the older crowd. That said I'm gonna go play Doom!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's one of the reasons there are so many complaints on this forum.

We haven't been the target audience for game makers for many, many years.

Older/middle-aged people are underrepresented because we really don't matter.

Nintendo thought they had finally tapped the older/middle-aged market with the Wii, turned out older people just wanted to bowl in their living rooms (Wii Sports free pack in game) and maybe have some new inspiration to exercise. (Wii Fit)

 

Both were short lived.

Edited by moycon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's one of the reasons there are so many complaints on this forum.

We haven't been the target audience for game makers for many, many years.

Older/middle-aged people are underrepresented because we really don't matter.

Nintendo thought they had finally tapped the older/middle-aged market with the Wii, turned out older people just wanted to bowl in their living rooms (Wii Sports free pack in game) and maybe have some new inspiration to exercise. (Wii Fit)

 

Both were short lived.

 

I'm not sure that that's the case, at least not with respect to middle-aged gamers. I read somewhere that when you compare all age groups, people in their mid-thirties to early forties spend the most money on video games. That makes sense, given that that age group is old enough to have had jobs and have earned money for a while, while still being young enough to have grown up with video games. This gives them more disposable income than students or recent graduates who are just starting out, and more interest in video games than the older generation who often prefers other forms of entertainment. That is the group that gaming companies market to the most.

 

My guess is that older and middle-aged protagonists are underrepresented in video games because these games mostly have action-driven plots/themes, which lend themselves better to younger characters. Even middle-aged gamers would rather play as a buff, 25 year-old barbarian/SEAL team leader/superhero who looks totally badass in all the different armors/uniforms you can unlock during the game, than as a balding 45-year old with a paunch. Many plotlines also introduce a love interest for the protagonist somewhere during the game, and this is also easier to do (and more enticing) when your protagonist and the love interest are young.

 

That said, I don't think older and middle aged characters are underrepresented in video games, they're just not used as the main playable character very often. They do make many appearances in supporting roles, as mentors, bosses, or friends of the protagonist.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I read somewhere that when you compare all age groups, people in their mid-thirties to early forties spend the most money on video games.

 

Be curious to A.) See that actual data, and B.) See how many of those games are being bought for their kids.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even middle-aged gamers would rather play as a buff, 25 year-old barbarian/SEAL team leader/superhero who looks totally badass in all the different armors/uniforms you can unlock during the game, than as a balding 45-year old with a paunch.

 

I assume you must under 25 years of age yourself. Being 45 doesn't mean "balding... with a paunch". I've known guys that were "balding, with a paunch" when they graduated high school.

And inversely Sylvester Stallone, Chuck Norris, Arnold Schwarzenegger, etc were all in their 40's during the heights of their action movie careers!

 

It's this trend of EVERYONE being young in media today I think. When you watch a movie or TV show the typical character has a complete education, big home of their own, wife and kids, multiple cars, no debts, really money is not an issue regarding anything, etc, etc, and their not even 30. It happens, sure, but it ISN'T typical! And it translates over to gaming since that is media too.

 

I remember Japanese games were bad for this back in the early 90's. You'd have some "retired" Green Beret or Army Sergeant, Nuclear Physicist, *fill in whatever mid-life time taking accomplishment*, etc... and they'd be in their mid 20's guaranteed!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I identify with 'freelancer guy,' who most certainly is a reflection of Star Citizen's target market:

 

g4B4FM.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Middle and old age gamers are more difficult to market to. They have become more cynical and critical of whatever bullshit the marketing teams spew forth. They are:

 

Harder to fool.

Harder to sell to.

Harder to pick up as customers.

Less tolerant of bullshit and bugs.

More choosy in the wares they purchase.

Are more likely to form their own opinion of things.

Are more likely to see through facades and crappy content.

Expect things to work and be of quality.

Are not associated with fast action characters in games.

 

And many more things. So game companies (and reviewers) spend less time focusing on the older crowd. That said I'm gonna go play Doom!

 

Today I learned i'm a middle aged gamer.....at age 29. :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly I really only like games that have some degree of character customization because of things like this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Be curious to A.) See that actual data, and B.) See how many of those games are being bought for their kids.

 

Unfortunately I can't remember the name of the actual article or where I read it, it was several years ago. I just did a quick internet search and found the following, which talks about the age of US video gamers. The oldest group (36 and older) of gamers was also the largest in 2014:

 

http://www.statista.com/statistics/189582/age-of-us-video-game-players-since-2010/

 

Granted, the two younger groups added together still outnumber the older group, but I think it would be folly for a video game company not to market to the older audience which makes up almost 40% of all gamers.

 

 

 

I assume you must under 25 years of age yourself. Being 45 doesn't mean "balding... with a paunch". I've known guys that were "balding, with a paunch" when they graduated high school.

And inversely Sylvester Stallone, Chuck Norris, Arnold Schwarzenegger, etc were all in their 40's during the heights of their action movie careers!

 

 

 

I absolutely agree. I wasn't implying that being 45 automatically means you're an out of shape shlub. I was trying to make a different point. With Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, etc. you named a few action stars who were able to maintain their incredible physical shape well into middle age, and who were able to portray younger men in their largely action-based movies. My understanding of the OP's post was that he wasn't asking why there aren't more gym-styled, steroid-fueled 45-year olds kicking butt in video games, but that he was specifically asking about middle-aged and older characters like grandmas, aging hitmen etc., who are no longer in their physical prime, and where consequently gameplay shouldn't be centered around the character's physical prowess. The point I was trying to make was that since the biggest sellers in video games are action games, shooters, and sports games, these just tend to be easier to center around a young protagonist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd like to see a list of video games with female protagonists who are middle-aged or older (and look it, i.e. no elves). Outside of the occasional novelty character in fighting games and such, it's probably a very short list.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm. Middle-aged gaming.

  • Manage household finances. Fun!
  • Yardwork. Exciting!
  • Fight against arbitrary changes in local ordinances and politics. Woo hoo!
  • Realize you've hit the top of your career. Give me more!
  • Get an endoscopy. Imagine the VR fun!
  • Bail your teenagers out of jail. Never disappointing! Bonus round: go into debt for their college. DLC: have them move back home and work at Starbucks.
  • Argue with family about inheritance and estates after the death of a loved one. Fun for all!
  • Pick a disease: arthritis, cardiovascular, liver, colon, prostate, diabetes. Wait for GOTY to get them all for no extra charge!
  • Look in the VR mirror to see the effects of gravity!

No thanks :D

Edited by akator
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, you guys have your classic consoles. I have my emulators..

 

What's an emulator? :ponder:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Granted, the two younger groups added together still outnumber the older group

Yes that was kind of my point, they make up the significant majority of players which is why as I said, the older folks aren't catered to, and honestly, that number of older gamers just shows that there is no need to in my opinion. The person interested in the latest and greatest trends is going buy into the industries latest offerings I think. The rest will hit retro gamer forums and complain at how bad things have gotten compared to when they were lads. and predict the next video game crash. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can run over pensioners in the GTA games, can't you?

 

The bad guy suit in Half Life is probably 60+ The professors probably at least 50.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are not represented NEARLY enough and I find it very offensive! Protests and lawsuits will soon follow.

 

 

 

 

That's how I'm supposed to act in today's society, correct?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes that was kind of my point, they make up the significant majority of players which is why as I said, the older folks aren't catered to, and honestly, that number of older gamers just shows that there is no need to in my opinion. The person interested in the latest and greatest trends is going buy into the industries latest offerings I think. The rest will hit retro gamer forums and complain at how bad things have gotten compared to when they were lads. and predict the next video game crash. :D

 

In what way do you feel older folks aren't catered to in modern video games? Are you saying that you can't identify with the protagonists in say, the Grand Theft Auto series or in Skyrim or in any of the numerous major league sports games because they are young? Put differently, would games featuring middle-aged or older protagonists make you feel more catered to? I'm not trying to be confrontational, I'm just really interested in your thoughts because I haven't heard them expressed this way before.

 

I'm past 40 myself, and I certainly feel catered to by modern video games.The main reason I don't own a modern console or play lots of modern video games is that they are such incredible time sinks. A few of my friends own modern consoles, and sometimes after a dinner invitation we'll start playing, and before we know it it's 2:00 am and we've barely made it into the story. I know that if I bought a modern console I would probably blow entire weekends hooked on one of those fascinating games, and that wouldn't be good for my marriage. Therefore I stick with my good old Atari 2600 and with casual tablet/phone games, which allow for very satisfying 20-minute game sessions. :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know. I find a fairly diverse age/gender/species representation in the breadth of today's games. As long as the game is good or its somehow intrinsic to the story, I have no trouble playing as a character of any age, gender, or species. If the implication is it's somehow weird for a 42 year old man to play as a kid in a videogame, I just don't see it. It's literally a character in a game. Although videogames are interactive where other media like movies, TV, and books aren't, we're still drawn to and relate to characters of every type in every form of media.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know. I find a fairly diverse age/gender/species ... I have no trouble playing as a character of any age, gender, or species.

 

Species?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

In what way do you feel older folks aren't catered to in modern video games? Are you saying that.....

 

I just don't think game producers are specifically targeting 40+ year old men when they design and program video games. They are targeting the younger players which is why as moodorf mentioned you don't see a 40 year old Laura Croft. In fact it's the opposite, the latest and currently most popular Tomb Raider of all time, starred a younger Laura. Why did they go route? Was it because they were thinking about the 40 year old game players or the 20 year game players? Were they worried of alienating the older player, or the younger players? That is what I am saying. That is not to say that all 40+ year olds are going to be turned off by the latest offerings. If you are a life long gamer you will play a decent game, regardless who the target audience is. It's as simple as that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm. Middle-aged gaming.

  • Manage household finances. Fun!
  • Yardwork. Exciting!
  • Fight against arbitrary changes in local ordinances and politics. Woo hoo!
  • Realize you've hit the top of your career. Give me more!
  • Get an endoscopy. Imagine the VR fun!
  • Bail your teenagers out of jail. Never disappointing! Bonus round: go into debt for their college. DLC: have them move back home and work at Starbucks.
  • Argue with family about inheritance and estates after the death of a loved one. Fun for all!
  • Pick a disease: arthritis, cardiovascular, liver, colon, prostate, diabetes. Wait for GOTY to get them all for no extra charge!
  • Look in the VR mirror to see the effects of gravity!
No thanks :D

:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...