Who do you picture when you think of an arcade? Children? In Japan, you would not just picture children. Seniors citizens have become such frequent visitors that Sega Corporation spokeswoman, Kyoko Matsuda, has already stated that the company will be targeting the older client.
Seniors have explained why they have ‘hit the arcades.’ One lady stated: “ I don’t have anything to say to my husband anymore. It’s much better to come here than just sit in the house watching TV all day. We need some excitement, too.” Another man stated, “It keeps my brain vibrant.” In response, arcades are offering special senior days. They have even discontinued their high technology player cards and returned back to paper since it’s “senior friendly.”
Is the real issue here that seniors are playing video games? Or is it that Japan is getting older?
“New figures released by the government estimate people aged 65 and older will make up nearly 40 percent of the population of Japan 50 years from now. Even more troubling, the country’s population is expected to shrink by 30 percent, with birth rates showing little signs of improvement.” Statistics specifically estimate that “seniors will outnumber children by 4 to 1.” So, is this why Sega is aiming its production at seniors?
Some blame women for not having children and instead focusing on their careers. “On average, Japanese women have 1.4 children. That number is 1.9 for U.S. women, according to the CDC.” Or could it be the fact that life expectancy in Japan continues to rise? Japan has already been known to have the highest in the world.
Do you think it’s a good idea to develop “senior friendly” video games? What about from a business aspect? Should Sega also target US seniors? Or are ‘senior friendly’ arcades only common in Japan?