Good article on the results from a poll on demographics and attitudes on Casual Gamers, sponsored by PopCap Games.
-“the study revealed that of the estimated 150 million consumers that play casual titles, 47 percent are age 50 or older and 19 percent are age 60 or older.”
-“For those 50 or older, 74 percent said they felt that playing games gave them good cognitive workouts, 62 percent said playing strengthened their memory, and an even higher 86 percent cited stress relief as a major factor. In addition, almost a third (32 percent) noted that playing helped to distract them from chronic pain or fatigue and almost a tenth even believed that playing actually contributed to pain relief directly.”
– The most popular genre choices for players age 50 and up were Puzzle (84 percent), Word (66 percent) and Card games (57 percent).
I couldn’t find the poll results directly, but you can check more information in the article above and in this press release.
Casual Games may be a great way to exercise our cognitive abilities. Now, when some of our Scientific Advisors and I evaluated some of the most popular ones, we weren’t very impressed about their design from a cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychology point of view, so it would be nice to see peer-reviewed studies about their real, direct, impact on cognition and how playing transfers to “real” life. In the meantime, they are no doubt a fun way to get some distraction.
The field will evolve to incorporate more science-informed and science-validated games.