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Old age gamers or OAG's as they are known is the fastest growing sector in the UK's computer game market - why so?

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Cathy Sayers

Content Editor

12th July 2021

4 min Read

Old age gamers or OAG’s as they are known is the fastest growing sector in the UK’s computer game market. It’s the 55 - 64 age bracket which has grown by nearly a third since 2018, according to industry experts GWI. And whether you pick a personalised polo shirt or are into a trendy tee, at any age gamers like to dress in comfortable clothing or caps to suit their style.

For many in the older generation, it’s the the pandemic that started them off gaming. For some it became an interest far earlier as a social lifeline - Bridget from Lincolnshire for example.

“Grandchildren call me “Gma - Gamer” because I’m a 77 year old gamer. She explains it all started 33 years ago when they bought their son a console. “I was watching him play and I wanted to have a go but my son said “leave me alone, you won’t know what you’re doing Mum!” - so my husband bought me a console & Mario Kart. I started to play and became addicted to it - the graphics, music and I could spend hours playing.

Andy Robertson is a gaming journalist & wrote “Taming Gaming” and has looked at the role of gaming within families & across the generations. He says that players are getting older and there’s a resurgence in people re-discovering games: “We played when we were younger and we got a sentimental attachment but when we come back to them, we find that games have moved on in the same way that we have, and so we find something new to enjoy and also as parents, grandparents, we realise this is a natural part of children’s lives. Kids kind of move in this space very naturally and we want to interconnect and understand the world that they are coming into .’

The buzz phrase for this is “Old Age Gamers” or OAG’s for short. Often it is a question of being able to team up with youngsters, relatives for example, who live some distance away. Bridget has gamed with all her grandchildren & now great grand children. She says it brings the family together. Sometimes when they all come over, it’s a way we entertain each other - Mario Kart is a favourite as we can get 3 to 4 people playing at a time.

Colm Sheridan is a 53 year old gamer from Dublin. He’s a lifetime gamer and also co-hosts a gaming podcast called ‘LastSaveLoaded’. In June 2020 he lost his job, and in February this year his father passed away. He’s found a lot of comfort in gaming and he now streams on Twitch. He says this has grown during lockdown and meeting people via Twitch has helped him get through.

For Bridget too gaming during lockdown’s been a lifeline - “it’s kept me sane and it keeps your hand eye coordination - also while my husband wasn’t able to get out for his motorbiking, it’s been great for the two of us.”

Andy Robertson says leisure pursuits are now being reflected in games - what you can find in a film, book or piece of art are all being reflected in games. Many games now take you through the different stages of life. ‘With “Before your eyes”, there’s a camera looking at your eyes and when you blink to interact with the game, you discover a story, and every now & then, when you blink, a metronome pops up and you move forward in time with no control over that - a bit like in real life - so that kind of experience in games would be impossible in other media.’

Again technology’s moved on so gamers can use devices they’ve already got and as internet speeds improve and streaming’s easier it means a wider range of ages take part. One gamer is 67 and his favourite game is Assassin's Creed Valhalla played on a Play Station 4, that’s what you could call Gaming Old Gracefully!

author thumbnail

Cathy Sayers

Content Editor

As a former ITV Features Editor Cathy is used to coming up with ideas on all manner of subjects and making them viewer friendly! She divides her time between all things TShirt Studio and making films for production company visiononcomms.com

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