I don’t mean that every individual in the world is a gamer or even plays games on a semi-regular basis. Rather, I mean that every type of person can find a piece of electronic entertainment to fit their interests. This thought crossed my mind today when I was sitting in a doctor’s office waiting room. I overheard a senior citizen woman playing a CSI game on her tablet.
The more mature woman was sitting next and describing the CSI game to another, middle-aged lady, who may have been her daughter. Let’s call them Lady A and Lady B, respectively. Lady A described the gamw as like a hidden object adventure, a genre that I greatly believe to be marketed to older women, as this demographic is who I mostly see playing this type of game. However, I surmised from the conversation that this CSI game was more of a crime scene investigation adventure game in which one must search a victim’s body for clues. Eventually, Lady A convinced Lady B to play the game for herself. Now, Lady B was even more engrossed than Lady A had been.
So, why is this seemingly inconsequential observation so important? Well, it shows that gaming is not just for the young or even the young at heart. Rather, video games can have as broad an appeal as books, movies, television shows, or movies. A game just needs to fit an individual s interests, wether they be niche or mainstream. So, rather than trying to make your grandma like Halo, try something like CSI instead. Or if your dad is like mine, try to introduce him to virtual casino games.
Game designers should absolutely take note. Although it might not be as glamorous as making the next blockbuster first person shooter, it is possible to be very successful by providing for the wants of those who don’t identify as gamers. With the massive variety of video games available today, the only thing keeping people away from wanting to play games is their pre-existing prejudices about what games are. By designing and marketing experiences for broader, sometimes underserved demographics, the electronic entertainment industry can help shatter the negative stereotypes about games and gamers, while finding successful and profitable niches to fill.