“It’s also good for my brain”: Playing digital games after 65

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Digitalgames are increasingly a mainstream medium used by wide range of people. Notonly do those who have grown up with digital games often continue to play intoadulthood, first time players are also not necessarily all children. Whileresearch some years back counted those over 35 or 40 as “older players” (Pearce, 2008; Quandt, Grueninger, &Wimmer, 2009), statistics from Scandinavia show that (varying amongst the countries)between 10-20% of the population over the age of 65 play digital games daily ornearly daily (Bak et al., 2012, p. 131; Carlsson, 2014, p. 124; Vaage, 2015, p. 72). Research suggests that theways digital games fit into players’ lives often change as they move from onelife phase to another (Juul, 2009). Here I will discuss the different meaningsdigital games may have in the post retirement lives of 14 Danes aged 65 andabove.


The basis for analysis is 14 qualitative interviews with four men and ten womenfrom the age of 65-92. Three of the interviews have been carried out via email,while the rest of the informants have been visited in their homes. Similar tothe reading of women’s magazines, analysed by Joke Hermes in 1995, nearly allinformants describe the playing of digital games as something insignificant intheir incredibly activity-filled lives. Yet, as the conversations unfold it isclear that the playing of digital games is deeply embedded in their everydayroutines. The different ways that the informants make sense of their own use ofdigital games will be discussed here in relation to notions of active ageingand productivity (Fagerström & Aarsten, 2013; Katz, 2000; Pike, 2011), aswell as the ageing body (Tulle-Winton, 2000).

Original languageEnglish
Publication date12. Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - 12. Nov 2016
Event6th European Communication Conference: Mediated (Dis)Continuities: Contesting Pasts, Presents and Futures - Prague Congress Centre, Prag, Czech Republic
Duration: 9. Nov 201612. Nov 2016
Conference number: 6


Conference6th European Communication Conference
LocationPrague Congress Centre
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic
Internet address


  • Older adults
  • digital games
  • ageing
  • productivity
  • practice theory
  • everyday media use
  • post retirement


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