Boomers: The New “Social Gamers” by Guest Blogger Michelle Kaplan
Today’s blog features a guest article written by Michelle Kaplan, co-founder of Winster.com, a social gaming site geared toward older adults who enjoy playing online games, making meaningful friendships and winning real prizes. Winster.com offers companionship, positive social.
My hope is that this article will provide you with a new perspective on the online gaming world and the possibilities for everyone, regardless of age.
When you hear the word “social gamer,” do you immediately picture a pimply-faced teenager wearing headsets in front of a computer? Well, you might want to think again after you hear the results from recent studies on social gaming and Internet use.
The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project revealed that social networking sites nearly doubled in usage among people ages 50 and older since last year, and has grown 100% among people ages 65 and older. Surprisingly, usage among these older groups is growing at a faster pace than younger generations.
Even more surprising is that 46 percent of social gamers are at least 50 years old and dominated by women, according to the 2010 Popcap Social Gaming Research.
“This study establishes social games as a fast-growing and quickly maturing pastime for an enormous portion of the population,” said Robin Boyar of Thinktank Research. “With more than 80 percent of social gamers stating that playing social games strengthens their relationship with friends, family and colleagues, social gaming reinforces the core appeal of social networks.”
Baby boomers are paving the way for the next generation social gaming sites. They enjoy playing multi-player games in real-time, making new friends and winning prizes on sites like Winster.com.
Social media sites have been a long time favorite among the younger generations, but now boomers are taking a deep interest and companies are starting to take notice on the demand and coming up with niche sites specifically to address their social needs.
“I’m in a wheelchair and pretty much homebound,” said Gail Davis, a 55-year-old from Chattanooga, Tennessee. “I used to be so depressed and lonely until I discovered online game sites that let me play with real people at the same time. Social game sites have been a lifesaver for me, so many friends and so much fun!”
David is just one of thousands of people who are finding a new way to form rewarding relationships online.
Popularity of social games among the fifty-plus population has taken off for a variety of reasons:
1. Connecting with old and new friends
2. Offers face-to-face simulation of social activity for people with limited mobility
3. Games provide mental stimulation that improves health
4. Social games offer real-time interaction for those seeking companionship
5. Collaborative games promote positive interaction that induce feelings of happiness
6. Social Networking sites are designed so that EVERYONE can easily create a profile and start connecting with others immediately
7. Bridges generational gap by providing a unique platform where parents, teenagers, grandparents, friends and neighbors regularly communicate
8. People with chronic disease are more likely to seek support online
For these reasons and more, social gaming sites will continue to gain rampant popularity among the fifty-plus population. Baby boomers and seniors are wired and embracing technology at full speed now more than ever.
I hope you have enjoyed this informative and interesting article on possibilities of real enjoyment and connection online for baby boomers, seniors and everyone else.
Dr. Erica will interview Michelle Kaplan live on blogtalkradio on Tuesday, May 10, 2011, at 12:30 PM ET – BabyBoomers and Gaming
Schedule a private consultation and get a FREE Successful Relationships Report at DrEricaWellness.com.
Here’s to living the life of your dreams – NOW!”
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