By Marcelo Rigon, Psychoanalyst, Bachelors of Physics and Game Designer for over 15 years.
The elderly population aged 60 years and above in Brazil was estimated at 5.9% of the population in 2010 by IBGE and this percentage rose to 7.4% in 2012 totaling approximately 20 million people. According to 2017 data, 63.5% of the elderly have access to mobile phone for personal use resulting in a total of 12.7 million people. As it can be seen in IBGE census analyses, it is clear that the aging of the Brazilian population in a marked way, making it necessary to take actions focusing on this public.
Although there are so many people with access to a mobile phone for personal use, many of them still use it in a very limited way and with great fear, often restricting the use only to receiving and making calls. This barrier happens not only because of the lack of previous contact with this kind of technology, but also because of the interface and aesthetics that were not built for this audience among other factors.
Games are an element present throughout our society, in various forms. Video games or digital games became popular in the 1980s with Atari, Odissey, Video Arcade and a whole multitude of devices and games created in those 40 years of history. It’s common to associate these products with children and young people. It’s true that games for this audience are better known and numerous, but with the development of technology they have become more accessible to other audiences. More than 10 years ago, in 2008, Queen Elizabeth II herself became known as a Wii console fan for asking to be the next one to play when she saw her grandson, Prince William playing Wii Bowling.
Since then, research has been conducted to verify the real impact of gaming use, not only as a hobby open to older people who may find themselves in a situation of isolation and depression, but also with the active intention of improving their life quality. To learn more about this last part, read the previous posts on our blog, especially that one by Researcher and Master in Psychology, Carla Oda (Read More) and Elisa Siqueira, behavioral psychologist and Neuropsychologist (Read More).