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author's profile photo Jelena Perfiljeva

From the Uplifting News Department

This was in the news back in June but I just found out from a local forum:

Retired banker Masako Wakamiya was frustrated by the lack of mobile games that catered to the elderly, who have a tougher time keeping up with the action-packed games that are popular with teens. So the 82-year-old from Japan started taking online tutorials to learn how to write software code.

She sounds like a really awesome lady. I always wanted to be like Betty White when I get old but now I'm torn. :)

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  • Aug 13, 2017 at 04:40 PM

    Which games would be suitable for older folk?

    (The only games I have my phone are backgammon and cribbage).

    • Aug 14, 2017 at 02:43 PM

      Mobile is tough. But even desktop games are really bad for most seniors.

      Maybe things that can be educational and interesting.

      Like the Oregon Trail series but geared for seniors instead and more contemporary. More travelogue style.

      My mother actually liked that and Dora the Explorer too, believe it or not. But both were designed for kids.

      It would be good to develop similar types but specifically for seniors and without the cartoonish edge to them.

      Why not place the World of Warcraft in contemporary settings instead of fantasy worlds. Use real places like New Zealand Valley of the Kings, the Valley of Ten Peaks, the Yellowstone Caldera, the Grand Canyon gorge, The Seven Sisters peaks, the Canyons of the Badlands, the Norway Fjords, the Arctic and Antarctic Circle, The Rockies, the Alps, etc. etc.. I bet some of the tourism organizations might even pay for "product placement" of the their regions.

      With computer, semi-savvy, baby boomers retiring, the online gaming market for seniors could be huge. Especially if it can be shown that it improves function and mental acuity. Seniors are already being encouraged to do crossword puzzles, word games, etc.. to keep their minds active. Why not make these fun with some role-playing games or other computer based games that can mentally challenge them.

      Possibly some popular, existing third person interactive player games would be fine for seniors if:

      1) the controls were simplified and limited. I.e. a "senior 1 mode", "senior 2 mode", "senior 3 mode", etc.

      2) the online game play would be age limited. i.e. 85+ groups, 75-85 group, 65-75 group.

      A 90 yr old, (on average), is not going to have any interest or ability to keep up with a bunch of 20 yr olds in playing an online version of Grand Theft Auto or Doom. But simplify the controls to say three or four actions and keep it limited to their peer group, that might be fine.

      BTW: Wii bowling leagues are very popular in many senior facilities.

    • Aug 15, 2017 at 08:23 AM

      Wait, Matt, are you implying you are old? :-P

    • Aug 15, 2017 at 03:25 PM

      When is one part of older folk?

      I'll probably be gaming for the rest of my temporary existence. I do see a shift in interest, for instance I don't play any RTS any more, but I did buy the new Doom recently and I still play Diablo-esque action RPG's like the utterly brilliant Path of Exile. And sometimes I embark on a story rich epic journey courtesy of JRPGs (recently finished Ni No Kuni)

      On my phone I only ever play the Guardian crosswords.

      I'm forty by the way, so according to myself when I was a teenager I would fall in the category of the really really old, however my current lifestyle doesn't reflect that in any way.

      My prediction would be that immersive reminiscent gaming experiences provided by virtual reality would be a nice way for old folk to interact and keep your braincells stimulated.

      • Aug 15, 2017 at 07:16 PM

        If you still like the strategic games, i suggest The Battle for Wesnoth: turn based, easy mechanics yet steer learning curve

      • Aug 16, 2017 at 08:16 AM

        When I was a teen, 30 was already oooold! :D Man, how that changed. ^^

        Funny enough, I'm 36 now and only started last year with my first Online Multiplayer First Person Shooter (Overwatch). But I still love RPGs most, turn-based or otherwise. And puzzle games.

        I dig a good story, well told. I loved "Journey" btw, which was more like art and an experience and so, so beautiful.

        For older people, another genre next to puzzle comes to mind: Virtual novels. You have a story and not really action, but mostly puzzles empedded in the story to get forward. Not like the Layton series, where the emphesis is on the puzzles, but the story is the main part. I like those, too, when I don't want a lot of action.

        Or anybody know the game "Letter Quest"? It's cute, you can level up, it has an item system and you fight monsters... with words! :D So it's an RPG and you got to use your mind and learn new things (there is always an explanation for each word). It's great for people of all ages IMO. I'd love to see more games like this.

  • Aug 14, 2017 at 08:26 AM

    Something like the Professor Layton series would be a good fit. But I think they are only available for Nintendo's DS and 3DS. Looks like the newest one is available for Android, too.

    I like when people don't just complain, but try to do something about it, no matter the age. :)

  • Aug 15, 2017 at 02:34 PM

    I'm gonna guess that the Five Nights at Freddy's games are not a good choice.

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