Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Japan's Arcade Gamers

This is a great example of games being for all ages. Japan's legendary Akihabara is home to everything electronic, with gaming being no exception. This district of Tokyo is always busy, and as of late there has been an increase in the age of customers at the parlors.

With birth rates continuing to decline and life expectancies increasing, gaming companies are taking the opportunity to branch out to new potential gamers, those over the age of 60. The aging population is a great resource to tap, in more ways then one. Sega and other companies are exploring everything from Pachinko type of games to what we as American's think of as arcade games, like old school Street Fighter and The Simpsons. (crappy tie-in, I know)

Arcades are now offering senior discount days, and instead of tokens and mobile tickets (for the youngins' with cell phones) points are calculated on simple sheets of paper and handed in for prizes. Ah prizes...I remember those days. I wonder if my 1,000+ Putt-Putt tickets are still good. Probably not.

I wouldn't be surprised to see this as a growing trend over the next decade or so. Our age group is about to turn 30 and for many of us, we've been around since the birth of gaming. I don't think we'll be letting go of it anytime soon. So kids, don't be mean to us old peeps.


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