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The Older Gamer in Games Studies: Marginalised or Idealised?

 y    | 23 dic 2020


This study concerns older gamers, who are often neglected in the gaming world. After reviewing the literature about older gamers, we have found most studies focus on the therapeutic function of videogames for solving problems related to age. Using an intersectional vision of critical gerontology studies and critical disability studies, we find that implicit compulsory youthfulness and compulsory ablebodiedness or ablemindedness colours studies about both older gamers and disabled gamers. These compulsory systems not only put older gamers and disabled gamers into a passive treatment-receiving position but also exclude them from a non-utilitarian style of game playing. Moreover, we recognise there are images of so-called ideal game players in current studies about older gamers and disabled gamers. These images further marginalise older gamers and disabled gamers. It is suggested that scholars undertaking future studies avoid ageism and ableism when studying older gamers or disabled gamers. Instead, researchers need to explore the original motivation of ageing people or people with disability to play video games, the sociocultural environment in which they are exposed to games and the specific social conditions under which games affect them.