When I first saw this infographic from the UK company Computer Planet about the health benefits of playing video games, I thought, “Hmm, interesting, but how much relevance does it have to baby boomers?”
After all, the prototypical image of gamers is of young men — who, as the infographic itself suggests, are seen as “anti-social hermits who shut themselves in their bedrooms day and night.”
And along with that image goes empty pizza boxes, bottles of soda or beer, maybe a haze of cigarette smoke…you get the picture.
Then I did a little research and was surprised to read that nearly a quarter of all gamers in the U.S. are age 50-plus, outdistancing those aged 36-49 and not too far behind the under 18 and 18-35 age ranges.
There’s more: according to surveys by Pew Research, in 2017 55 percent of Americans aged 50 and up played video games at least some of the time. Other surveys show even higher rates, up to 65 percent of the 50-plus population.
And more than a third of gamers aged 65 and up say they play almost daily — well outpacing any other age group (about a fifth of those aged 50-64 said they played daily, about equal to younger adults).
So the potential health benefits of gaming suddenly seemed very relevant indeed.
The infographic makes the case that gaming can do everything from alleviating pain to increasing your brain matter and memory capacity.
So, if you haven’t played video games since the days of Pac-Man and Donkey Kong, you might want to limber up those wrists and fingers and give Tetris or Super Mario a try. Lots of other baby boomers do, and may well be benefiting from it.
And here’s the travel angle: You can take them on the road!