Video and computer games are typically thought of as a pastime for kids. Grandparents across the nation are putting that myth to rest. Grandmas are playing video games in increasing numbers for fun and to retain mental acuity.
The most famous gaming grandma is 90-year-old Mori Hamako of Japan. She’s been playing games for 39 years and was awarded the title of World’s Oldest Gaming YouTuber, earning herself a Guinness World Record. She’s not the only one. Shirley Curry, an 84-year-old grandmother from Ohio, is known as the “Skyrim Grandma.”
There are far more seniors playing video games than people think. Some picked up their first controller when their children began playing. Others came later to gaming and it was a way to connect with grandchildren. However, there are also seniors that were playing “Pong” on computers when it was first created in 1958.
Grandmas are playing games on computers, consoles, and on their phones. They’re building civilizations, going on digital quests, and staying physical fit with motion-based games. They’re also solving puzzles with Sudoku, breaking bad on “Grand Theft Auto,” and in some instances they’re besting their younger counterparts.
Seniors that play video games, no matter what medium they’re using, generally score higher on dexterity, memory, and cognitive ability tests than their non-playing friends. Gaming serves many of the same purposes as it does for younger players. It relieves boredom, they’re fun, and provide a sense of accomplishment.
Video games can help stave off loneliness and connects older generations to others. Feelings of isolation are a very real problem for seniors as their peers pass away. For some seniors, online gaming keeps them in touch with children and grandchildren that may live far away.
Gaming grandmas are alive and well – and they can be just as daring and cutthroat as any teen. Older women are playing more than men and they play more often. Grandmothers were young once, too. People can learn a lot about their grandma by the games she plays.