The gameful life: Game design for the new 50+ year old player

The next BostonCHI meeting is The gameful life: Game design for the new 50+ year old player on Tue, Jun 14 at 6:30 PM.

Register here

BostonCHI June 2022, featuring Bob De Schutter


The 50+ year old demographic is about to take center stage within the audience of digital games. Today, a 65-year-old retiree would have been 18 when Pong arrived and even a 50+ year old has already lived through 4 console generations before turning 25. This presents a major cultural shift for the game industry, as older players of today and tomorrow will now often have a strong cultural connection to digital games, which they have cultivated throughout their lives. The shift from mostly uninformed novices to many savvy gaming literates among older players presents game academia and both the entertainment and gamification industry with a few challenges and many opportunities, as older players are looking for design approaches beyond brain training or fall prevention games.

In this talk, I will introduce how the topic of games and aging has inspired my work as a scholar and a game designer for over 15 years. I will debunk familiar stereotypes that surround 50+ year old players, and I will outline how aspiring game developers can make better games for aging players.


Bob De Schutter (MFA, PhD) is an award-winning game designer, researcher, educator, and advocate for meaningful play in later life. He is a Professor of Applied Game Design at Northeastern University, where he is jointly appointed between the College of Arts, Media and Design and the Khoury College of Computer Sciences. He is also the owner of award-winning game company Lifelong Games (LLC).

Schedule – EDT (UTC-4)

6:30 – 6:45: Networking (via Zoom)

6:45 – 7:45: Presentation

7:45 – 8:15: Q & A