In the last three years, the number of adults age 50 and up who play video games regularly has increased, from 38% in 2016 to 44% in 2019.
An AARP survey of 3,737 people ages 50 and older identified 1,664 respondents as gamers -- meaning they owned a gaming device (phone, computer, tablet, console) and played a game on it at least once per month. 49% of women surveyed played games, compared to 40% of men.
Of those who didn't play games, 57% said it was because they were just "not a video game person." Only 5% said it was due to not understanding how the technology worked, and only 9% reported their lack of gaming as a view that games were for younger people.
Collectively, those who did play games averaged about five hours of play per week. 47% said they played daily, up from 40% in 2016, and four out of five played games at least once per week.
73% of the older adults who played games said they played on phones or other mobile devices, while 47% used computers or laptops. Only 13% played on consoles. The best-loved genre was puzzle and logic, with 49% reporting it as their favorite, with "card and tile" games (not gambling or casino games) as the favorite of 47%. Only 5% preferred action-adventure, and 5% preferred shooters.
When asked why they played games, 76% of those who did said they played to have fun. 67% said it kept them mentally sharp, 63% liked to be challenged and to solve problems. 60% played to relieve boredom, and 57% played to reduce stress.
Additionally, 42% reported putting limits on the amount of time per day they played -- though 13% responded that they thought they were addicted to playing games.
In total, the AARP estimated that adults ages 50 and up spent $3.5 billion on games in 2019.