How a 79-year-old Woman Could Change How Video Game Makers Target Their Consumers
Video game makers must be aware of the increased diversity of gamers before the competition beats them to it.
Gamers come from all backgrounds and varying experiences. However, even the most hardcore and experienced gamers are surprised when they learn about 79-year-old Shirley Curry or “Grandma” as she is referred to on her YouTube channel. Shirley is an active Skyrim player, who started posting YouTube videos in September (2015). In just her first two months on YouTube, she gained a staggering 90,000 subscribers.
We got a wonderful opportunity to speak to Shirley about her experience and we soon learned that she isn’t apologetic about her age or love for gaming. “I put my own picture up there (YouTube aviator), my age, (the fact that I have) four grown sons, and grandkids. I wanted to interact with people as myself.”
Shirley’s welcoming and confident nature makes it less surprising that her channel became so popular in such a short period of time and her authenticity really resonates with younger viewers. Comments such as “Your videos make me smile”, “Finding and following you was one of the best decisions of my life” and “You are amazing” flood her comments section.
Despite her newfound fame, Shirley isn’t new to gaming. In fact, she has been playing games since the mid 90’s when many of her viewers were still in diapers. Her gaming journey started when her son bought her a computer, including a game (Civilization 2) and taught her how to play. Ever since then Shirley has been one gaming machine. She makes all of our preconceived notions go out the window about what a gamer is and isn’t. “Marketing is totally geared to the younger male player, even in their packaging, do you ever see a picture of an older person playing or interacting with a younger person? They are (really) missing older people to get them to buy games” Curry states.
If gaming companies want to continue to grow, they must realize that their audience is worldwide and ageless; as time goes on gamers will become older and more diverse. She is not alone when it comes to gaming after the age of forty. She states that she consistently receives comments from older gamers mentioning how happy they are to have someone like her in the public eye.
The amount of gamers over the age of forty are growing at a rapid pace. Think about it, the Nintendo Entertainment System made its debut in 1985, making it over thirty years old. Many of its original gamers are now between 35-55 and haven’t stopped gaming.
Not only is gaming in the later years of life becoming more common, there are real benefits beyond the thrill of killing zombies, as video games actually improve your motor skills, and cognitive functions. Although Shirley leads a very active and healthy life via walking, quilting, and frequent social interactions, she recognizes the benefits that gaming can provide to others her age “So many people when they get to retirement age sit on the couch and veg out. Playing games (forces you to) use your brain and stay younger, longer”
Although Shirley’s’ popularity was meteoric, she will not be the last to game into her seventies and video game makers will be forced to target those in her age bracket soon enough. However, thanks to Shirley, the process might be faster than they previously expected.https://www.gamerwomen.com/video-game-makers/https://www.gamerwomen.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Video-Game-Makers.pnghttps://www.gamerwomen.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Video-Game-Makers-150x150.pngSpotlightsgamer girl,gamer women,gamer women interviews,Girl Gamers,video game industry,video game markers,video game market share,video game marketing,video game tareting,video game target market,Women in gamingVideo game makers must be aware of the increased diversity of gamers before the competition beats them to it. Gamers come from all backgrounds and varying experiences. However, even the most hardcore and experienced gamers are surprised when they learn about 79-year-old Shirley Curry or “Grandma” as she is referred... Gamerwomenco@gmail.comAdministratorGamer Women