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#120964 - 06/13/06 12:18 PM Baby Boomer Research Discussion
gamegrrrl Offline
Junior Boomer

Registered: 05/23/06
Posts: 3
Loc: Southern California

I'd like to begin with the following question, although feel free to say whatever is on your mind, including comments about gamers outside the boomer window.

Question: What distinguishes Baby Boomer Gamers, and indeed all gamers over 40, from gamers in other age groups?


Edited by looney4labs (06/13/07 09:17 AM)
Edit Reason: remove broken link

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#120965 - 06/13/06 12:22 PM Re: Baby Boomer Research Discussion
BrownEyedTigre Offline
The Sassy Global Moderator PR Liaison
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 01/04/04
Posts: 64741
Loc: In the Naughty Corner
Hi Gamegrrrl. wave I am going to move you up to Discussions forum. Follow the link in the upper left to find your thread.

Ana laugh
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#120966 - 06/13/06 01:22 PM Re: Baby Boomer Research Discussion
chrissie Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 01/15/05
Posts: 4403
Loc: london uk
Was this survey posted on a cross section of sites other than primarily an adventure site? Did gamers under '40' also participate in a survey in a cross section of sites?

For me, I would need a little more info that proves that there is a distinction between gamers in different age groups. Yes! children's games aside, we know that action games are targetted at the younger male and they sell!! But how many people over '40' also like them and how many people under '40' prefer adventure?

Sorry! it is not my intention to be contentious but without facts I think your question is based on a generalization! smile

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#120967 - 06/13/06 01:54 PM Re: Baby Boomer Research Discussion
Becky Offline
The Medieval Lady
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 02/16/00
Posts: 26894
Loc: Stony Brook, New York, USA
Hey gamegrrrl -- the link you posted was causing the screen to scroll from side to side, so I edited it -- it still links to the survey though!

There's a huge age range of gamers in my house, and personal experience is all I can speak to.

My sons like games where they can move around and explore at a faster pace than you find in most adventure games. They both like games that test their reflexes, but they also like games that make them think. A plot is nice, but is not the reason that they game. A game with a lot of stand-alone puzzles will leave them stuck, and they don't have the patience to spend a lot of time being stuck.

I like games where I can explore at a slower pace, and I like appealing characters and a good plot. If I never have to engage in timed tests of skill that's just fine with me.

Games that both generations in my family have enjoyed -- 80 Days, Dreamfall, the Bone games, WANTED: A Wild Western Adventure, Ankh, Psychonauts.

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#120968 - 06/13/06 05:17 PM Re: Baby Boomer Research Discussion
colpet Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 01/07/01
Posts: 1806
Loc: Orillia, Ontario, Canada
My perception is that PC gamers who start later in life (like I did in 2000)seem to be less tech friendly and seem to prefer more cerebral challenges (as opposed to dexterity based). PC Gamers that started playing available games in the 80's seem to enjoy a wider variety of types of games (consoles, RPG, Sims). It would be very interesting to see if this is supported by your survey.

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#120969 - 06/13/06 10:43 PM Re: Baby Boomer Research Discussion
The Haze Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 02/12/06
Posts: 781
Loc: SE Michigan
Please be assured that I don't want to take this in a political direction, but I've been a teacher and watched 'other age groups' for a very long time. The Boomers all had grandparents involved in WWI and their parents who were occupied by WWII. The Boomers themselves had to deal with Vietnam and the civil rights violence of the '60s. As a result, they tend toward games where they need not be violent and/or need not kill things. This tendency naturally leads toward adventure gaming, as opposed to playing most RPGs or shooters. I'm fully aware that this is a bit simplistic, but people tend to relax by involving themselves in that which is not normal for them. The Baby Boomers grew up hearing about or being in violent, country-encompassing, and emotional times. They simply want their gaming to be a bit more peaceful.
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#120970 - 06/13/06 10:58 PM Re: Baby Boomer Research Discussion
JMK Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2582
Loc: California
Not entirely, Haze. I am a female boomer and love rpgs. I don't mind killing at all in games, although I do not like to see a lot of gore. I like the feeling of being powerful in a fantasy world.

I also play adventure games, as I have this theory about balancing things out. I do the same thing in real life. Here I am a gamer, in real life I'm a single mom (daughter grown), and a secretary who also lifts weights and is an archer.

I think that as we get older we get immersed in adventure games to challenge our intellect. Other boomers stick strictly to puzzle games. Some of us have been around long enough to be good at strategy and so play strategy games (something I'm not).

I've found that somehow the skills I have in life get reflected into games, and vice versa. Not that I've ever killed a troll in real life! rotfl

Jean
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#120971 - 06/14/06 01:49 AM Re: Baby Boomer Research Discussion
nickie Offline
Grand wizard of high mucky muck
Adept Boomer

Registered: 01/08/02
Posts: 13453
Loc: Texas
rotfl Jean. No trolls, eh?
That's an interesting perspective, The Haze. Like Jean, I am also a boomer and balance my playing time between adventure games and "action type" games (mainly RPGs). If I were to list my top ten all genre fav list, it would be split pretty evenly.

Colpet,I think you have a very good point there, and would sure be interested in hearing if this was the case.
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#120972 - 06/14/06 05:19 AM Re: Baby Boomer Research Discussion
The Haze Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 02/12/06
Posts: 781
Loc: SE Michigan
smile Hmm, I fully agree with JMK about the desire to challenge our intellect. In general, I think our two theories fit together easily. Judging from what I read on these pages though, I have a feeling that adventure gamers are the least eclectic type of players.

F.Y.I., my wife, who is a wonderfully practical woman, insists that I present her three reasons why I play games. They are;
1. Television generally stinks
2. If I read any more my muscles will atrophy
3. Golf cannot be well-played at night

Maybe she has it figured out
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If all the people were heroes, there would be no one to watch the parades.

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#120973 - 06/14/06 05:34 AM Re: Baby Boomer Research Discussion
Gamehound Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 12/04/03
Posts: 1272
Loc: U.S.A.
I think you need to first define what a baby boomer is (ie someone born between the years of 1946 and 1964). Myself, I was born after the baby boom (which is associated with the years service men returned from wars the U.S. was involved in).

Myself, I tend to enjoy the very same games that baby boomers enjoy playing. It is true that a lot of gamers of today enjoy FPS, and are usually teenagers, but there isn't a hard-and-fast rule. I just tend to think that age isn't a determining factor. I believe the determining factor in gaming tastes is based on the gamer's interests in gaming.


Gamehound
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#120974 - 06/14/06 08:02 AM Re: Baby Boomer Research Discussion
KateVa Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 12/30/00
Posts: 618
Loc: virginia
Interesting survey...I thought the results posted so far sounded as if those surveyed were all from this forum! LOL

It took me longer than twenty minutes to answer (trying to remember my top ten games!!!) and I had to leave before I could add much in the way of comments. I was curious, though, why education hadn't been included...would be interesting to see how background correlates with the type of games enjoyed.


Kate

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#120975 - 06/14/06 09:46 AM Re: Baby Boomer Research Discussion
wysewomon Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 3506
Loc: hunched over my computer
I think it may have to do with differences in stress management. Most people get less upset about things as they age because they learn that not everything is a matter of life and death. Whereas younger people are so stirred up about everything; they need more of an outlet for violence and adrenaline. That's not to say older people never need that wink --sometimes you really do want just to blow things up or shoot things.

In my teens and twenties, I played a lot of arcade games (in arcades), where the gaming process--standing there in front of the console--was almost physical, likie you were fighting with the console as much as fighting w/in the game. But as I got older I didn't want to fight so much. I remember one of the first adventure games I played--I think it was Dragonsphere--where you had to trick a fairy to gain access to the magic wood or some such, and I was so delighted that you had to solve riddles rather than just pulling out your sword and charging in.

Well, that's my opinion, anyway.

WW
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#120976 - 06/14/06 10:01 AM Re: Baby Boomer Research Discussion
nickie Offline
Grand wizard of high mucky muck
Adept Boomer

Registered: 01/08/02
Posts: 13453
Loc: Texas
Just to add on to your coattails WW, I think part of that stress management or fulfillment is in some cases picking games that are generally opposite of what we encounter in our real day to day activities. In a broader sense, as I realize almost every game is different from what we would encounter in real life! I guess that's sort of off the topic though, isn't it. laugh What I mean is that I live in a remote area, and often have to tinker with machinery and what have you. I tend to not like the games that are first person mainly isolated with machine type puzzles (ie. Myst).
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"How could drops of water know themselves to be a river? Yet the river flows on."
- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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#120977 - 06/14/06 12:50 PM Re: Baby Boomer Research Discussion
GreyFuss Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 06/01/06
Posts: 2918
gamegrrl wave

Good Question.

After giving this some thought let me run this by you and get your thoughts. This thinking is outside the box and does not apply to all but just generally speaking.

Lets start with the Baby Boomers and the era in which they (me too) were raised. As children Boomers were what I will call "Mental". By that I mean that they had to mostly use their mind and imagination to entertain them selves. There were not the things to do to occupy our time like what was to come later. We made up stories, acted them out. Played dress up, and Army with nothing more that rags or a stick. We read books and only imagined in our heads what the characters looked like, not watched on TV or the movies see an actors face. We listened to music and in our own minds developed the meaning to the words. No MTV to SHOW us what the music means. Could it be that this is why Baby Boomers are more attracted to Adventure games. The games are more mental imaginative.

Non-Baby Boomers are what I would call "Physical"
There childhood was more based on things to do. Things to SEE and FEEL. VCR's, Nintendo's, Malls, Video Arcades,Cable TV,Sports Camps, etc etc
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#120978 - 06/14/06 01:23 PM Re: Baby Boomer Research Discussion
gamegrrrl Offline
Junior Boomer

Registered: 05/23/06
Posts: 3
Loc: Southern California
Wonderful ideas, theories and thoughts. This is very useful.

Regarding the scope of the survey, this is being done as a small project, by only one researcher, and my hope is to expand this initiative with some follow-up studies. Vis a vis chrissie's questions:

1) The survey has been posted on several sites, including sites that are not exclusive to Baby Boomers; The Older Gamers, for instance, is one of those that caters to gamers 25 and older; they do not have a focus on adventure games

2) I agree with the point that it would be good to do a comparison study, e.g., ask the same questions of people in OTHER age groups. The main reason this is not being done in this "round" is insufficient time and resources, and a decision to keep the scope fairly narrow for starters.

I think the points made by The Haze and by GreyFuss about the socio-cultural-historical context and the media landscape in which the Baby Boomer Generation is actually very interesting. I wonder if anyone else has any thoughts about that?

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