Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Welcome to the world of old people playing video games

Illustration for article titled Welcome to the world of old people playing video games
Screenshot: GrandpaGaming (YouTube)

As we’ve discussed in the past, old people are some of the only video game streamers worth watching. Filled with the wisdom that comes from age, seniors are the necessary corrective to Twitch and YouTube channels currently dominated by excitable whippersnappers. Fortunately, as outlined in a piece NBC’s Kalhan Rosenblatt that explores this world, video games are gaining popularity among the elderly. The piece references a study that found “38 percent of Americans age 50 and older said they play video games” and looks at those who belong to this demographic.


The article details Audrey Buchanan, an 88-year-old who has played “more than 3,500 hours” of a Nintendo 3DS version of Animal Crossing. As Buchanan puts it, she likes “to play every day because I don’t want to disappoint my animals.” Our old pal, the Skyrim-loving Shirley Curry pops up, too, when Rosenblatt gets into the seniors who stream games or upload videos of what they’re playing online.

Curry, who is 83, has “more than 700,000 subscribers on YouTube,” and refers to her viewers as “grandkids,” is mentioned alongside 66-year-old Twitch streamer GrandpaGaming (AKA Will R.). He streams games that include PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Apex Legends, uploading highlights that show him kicking the ass of other players who, when their age is compared to his, are probably quite literal noobs.

Rosenblatt mentions the social benefits of video games as well as studies that show how, “with their complex controls and fast pace” they provide “a mental workout for seniors” that could help “delay or slow the onset of degenerative neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.” This means that, aside from providing a subgenre of game streams that are far more entertaining than the usual, these seniors are potentially improving their health as well.

Read the full article for more or do your part by heading to the store, buying a few hundred bucks worth of consoles, and getting your ancient family members set up with Twitch channels. It’s for their own good, and ours.

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.