In recent years, video games have become increasingly accessible and popular for people with a wide variety of backgrounds. Therefore, markets that were previously ignored by video game producers have suddenly become interesting. One such market for video games includes older generations, or the grandparents of the generation to whom they would typically market. Here are the top ten video games for grandparents for the PC or a variety of consoles.
Bejeweled by PopCap is a video game for the PC that is particularly popular for people over 40, including many grandparents. Relatively simple in its concept, Bejeweled is a simple puzzle game that consists of moving multi-colored jewels from one place to another to create strings of the same color, thus gaining points. There is a variety of bonuses available for stringing together more jewels or causing jewels to fall so that more strings are created. In most versions of this video game, players are given one minute in which to create as many strings as possible. This video game is popular for grandparents who may not have an abundance of time, but can pick up a minute long game easily. In addition, Bejeweled is a video game that makes use of the mind in a number of different ways, particularly enhancing spatial abilities. As many grandparents are drawn to video games after studies have shown that video games can increase brainpower and perhaps reduce dementia, Bejeweled is an ideal puzzle game for the PC.
Another PC game that is popular with grandparents is Sims. This video game consists of creating families or individuals and their homes, then maneuvering these characters through life. This video game is popular for grandparents because it can be turned on or off and picked up quickly and easily. Grandparents can play this video game whether they have very busy lives and can only spare a few minutes here and there for a game, or they can spend several hours on it.
Although the Xbox 360 markets almost exclusively to the more “traditional” gamer (males in their teenage and young adult years), grandparents have been able to find a great deal of enjoyment from the online “Xbox Live” feature. One video game that utilizes the Xbox Live feature in a way that is appealing to grandparents is Hasbro Family Game Night. With this video game, grandparents can play via Xbox Live with their grandchildren regardless of where those grandchildren may reside. Hasbro Family Game Night consists of a number of classic Hasbro board games, brought to the screen.
Another Xbox 360 game that could prove to be very popular among grandparents is Deca Sports Freedom. Many grandparents, including my daughter’s grandmother, enjoy the Xbox sports games, and Deca Sports has been a favorite because it encompasses sports that many other games do not. Deca Sports Freedom is one of the recently released video games designed to make use of Xbox’s Kinect technology. Kinect is a remote-free sensor that allows players complete freedom of motion because the sensor notices actual body movement, rather than simply following the laser from the controller. Additionally, Deca Sports Freedom can also be utilized with Xbox Live, thus allowing grandparents the ability to play this video game against their grandchildren who may live far away.
Playstation 3 has also introduced their own remote-free system, called the Playstation Move. One game in particular in this format appeals to grandparents: Start the Party. Designed to introduce players to the Move format, Start the Party is a video game that plays to one of the things that many grandparents have cited as an advantage to particular video games: quick playability. Featuring a number of short, easy to pick up games, Start the Party allows grandparents and others to get an overview of the Playstation Move format while still having a lot of fun.
Nintendo DS offers a number of handheld games that appeal to a wide variety of audiences, including grandparents. One of the more popular games, Brain Age, allows grandparents to partake in a quick mental work out. There are several iterations of Brain Age, each one presenting several different tasks designed to help the gamer use their minds in a wide variety of ways. This is appealing to grandparents who may wish to stay mentally limber and enjoy using a handheld video game format to do so.
Wii Fit by Nintendo, designed for the Wii, is a video game that causes people of all ages to get up and move in whatever capacity they are capable. As such, this video game is ideal for grandparents who wish to remain fit but do not necessarily have the stamina for many other activities. With a variety of options, Wii Fit is a video game that can be as intensive as the user desires. Options vary from yoga poses to cardiac workouts. Many grandparents appreciate the ability to work out using this video game from home without needing a gym membership, and a large number of retirement communities have adopted the Wii Fit as a way to get their residents fit.
Also for the Wii, Wii Sports was one of the first console-based video games that drew a huge range of people, including everyone from the very young child to grandparents. For grandparents, this video game utilizes the Wii sensor technology to allow them to “participate” in a number of sports. The activity level for Wii Sports is less than that for the Wii Fit, but is much more active than the average video game. Thus, Wii Sports is a video game that is a nice compromise for grandparents who wish to remain active but who are not physically able to use the Wii Fit video game. The sports included in Wii Sports include such sports as bowling, tennis and golf.
Another popular Wii game for my daughter’s grandparents is Sega Bass Fishing. This video game has a couple of different ways in which to use the controller based on how much activity the gamer wishes to expend. The premise is simple: “cast” using the Wii remote and try to catch a bass. Tournament and “for fun” modes both exist, so the game can be competitive or just as relaxing as a day spent fishing at the lake. The obvious advantage over actual fishing is that it can be done in any weather, at any time of the day.
Finally, the Wii also offers the video game Smarty Pants. In essence, this video game is a trivia game, but it has a unique slant. Questions are tailored to the gamer’s age. Therefore, both children and grandparents can play together, and neither has a distinct edge over the other, which levels the playing field.
Video games have become popular for all age ranges, and grandparents are no exception. These are just ten of the many video games that are appealing to grandparents.