Study: Seniors turn to gaming to stay in touch with grandkids | Tech/Gadgets

A UK study found that 20 per cent of grandparents took to playing virtual games with grandchildren while shielding from Covid-19. — Ivanko_Brnjakovic/ pic via AFP-Relaxnews

LONDON, Dec 1 — Lockdown has led many people to video games — even seniors, it seems. In the UK, some 20 per cent of grandparents have taken to playing virtual games as a way of maintaining contact with their grandchildren. It’s a good way of helping them feel less isolated while shielding from Covid-19.

How to stay in touch with grandchildren while shielding from Covid-19? For some grandparents (one in five), the answer is with virtual games, reports a British study published by Robert Walters in collaboration with VacancySoft. The trend was also seen in parents aged over 55, with 40 per cent stating that they regularly played video games online with their own children during lockdown as a way of “staying in touch.”

Lockdown measures aimed at slowing the spread of Covid-19 have sent video game sales skyrocketing this year, already increasing by 218 per cent compared to the same period last year, reports Telemedia Online.

“Covid-19 has had a profound impact on the sector that truly no-one could have predicted,” Thomas Shibley, Global Head of Player Support at Wildlife Studios, told Telemedia Online.

“With the unexpected behaviour pattern this year of more people staying inside and not having access to the same traditional methods of relieving stress, this allowed for more time to game and more frequent usage of games to bridge the social limitations we have all felt this year.”

Staying in touch and relaxing

According to the results of the study, 42 per cent of British people aged between 55 and 64, and 27 per cent of 65+ year olds, have played video games in the last five years, most often classic puzzle, logic, card and tile games. During lockdown, 40 per cent of gamers over 60 said they played strategy games — like Sudoku, chess and bridge — “to keep the brain in tip-top shape” while shielding from the virus.

For 40 per cent of 39-54 year olds, online games were a way of engaging with their children during lockdown, while a third of Millennials (25-38 ans) stated that their main reason for gaming during that time was “to relax.” 

“As different demographics engage with gaming at different stages in their life, the way in which people interact with online gaming is becoming increasingly segmented,” said Tom Chambers, Senior Manager Technology at Robert Walters.

“This increasing segmentation of gaming means that as the industry grows, there will be a natural explosion of gaming companies and hiring — where within the next five years the number of people employed in the sector could be tripled,” he added.

Moreover, 85 per cent of those under 35 said that they frequently played video games during lockdown, as well as 75 per cent of 35-44 year olds.

“As these Millennials mature (now aged between 25 and 38 years), so too does the proportion of people gaming above the age of 40, meaning there is an abundance of untapped growth potential amongst older audiences,” concludes Tom Chambers. — AFP-Relaxnews

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