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Games for the 50+: Grandparents & Grandchildren Find Adventures, Memories
Posted By Bob Stephen On April 23, 2013 @ 3:13 pm In Notebook | Comments Disabled
Over 60 percent of Americans over the age 50 are grandparents. But, as the average age of a first-time grandparent in the United States is 48, there are also a number of grandparents under 50, too. So, grandparents are something we feel is important to understand at AARP. We know that grandparents want to increase the connection to their grandkids  and want to help get them on the right path in life. But, there are barriers – distance or physical limitations can limit interactions and basic generational differences particularly around technology can also be issues. In their landmark study, Dr. Jennifer Jacobs Henderson , associate professor and department chair, and Dr. Aaron Delwiche , associate professor of the Department of Communication  at Trinity University,  found that massive multiplayer games  like Wizard101  are one way that grandparents are overcoming both barriers.
This past summer when I would run on Saturdays, I tended to pass by a grandfather and his grandson exploring different parts of the trail. Sometimes they’d have a butterfly net, while other times they were looking at the plants along the trail. Basically, these were adventures they were going on together. It turns out that technology and gaming opens up adventures and memories for grandparents  and grandkids separated by either distance or physical limitations of the grandparent.
Consider these quotes from grandparents in the study:
The right game environment offers both the connections around activity and adventure but also helps to bridge the digital differences between generations. Next time, we’ll talk about some surprising connections between gaming, caregiving and health. Until then, it would be great to hear your stories – how have you used online games to stay connected with other generations – kids, grandkids or parents?
View the entire Games for the 50+ series:
Bob Stephen is AARP’s Vice President for Home and Family. In this role he works on issues such as caregiving, intergenerational families, livable communities and technology across the organization. He connects with family and friends through online gaming.
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Article printed from AARP: http://blog.aarp.org
URL to article: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/04/23/games-for-the-50-grandparents-grandchildren-friendly-video-games/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://blog.aarp.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/grandparents_at_play.jpg
 grandparents want to increase the connection to their grandkids: http://www.aarp.org/entertainment/style-trends/info-08-2012/call-me-maybe-grandparents-day-AARP.html
 Dr. Jennifer Jacobs Henderson: http://web.trinity.edu/x8206.xml
 Dr. Aaron Delwiche: http://www.trinity.edu/departments/public_relations/trinity_people/aaron_delwiche.htm
 Department of Communication: http://web.trinity.edu/x5172.xml
 Trinity University,: http://web.trinity.edu/
 massive multiplayer games: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massively_multiplayer_online_role-playing_game
 Wizard101: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wizard101
 Related: Games for 50+: Strengthening Friendships: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/04/15/bob-stephen-boomers-meeting-friends-through-gaming/?intcmp=AE-BLIL-BL
 that technology and gaming opens up adventures and memories for grandparents: http://www.aarp.org/home-family/personal-technology/info-10-2012/social-media-attracting-seniors-mo.html?intcmp=AE-BLIL-DOTORG
 we can connect: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/04/15/amy-goyer-how-grandparents-can-help-heal/?intcmp=AE-BLIL-BL
 Games for the 50+: A New Outlet for Mentoring: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/05/13/bob-stephen-online-games-assist-in-mentoring/
 Games for the 50+: Games Provide Family Caregivers With Time to Recharge: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/05/06/bob-stephen-caregivers-benefit-from-online-games/
 Games for the 50+: Strengthening Friendships : http://blog.aarp.org/2013/04/15/bob-stephen-boomers-meeting-friends-through-gaming/
 Games for the 50+: Benefits Include Socialization, Activity : http://blog.aarp.org/2013/04/08/bob-stephen-games-help-isolation/
 Games for 50+: Benefits Include Socialization, Activity: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/04/08/bob-stephen-games-help-isolation/?intcmp=AE-ENDART1-BL-REL
 Cheap, Easy Tips for Keeping Mosquitos Away: http://blog.aarp.org/2012/08/06/cheap-easy-tips-for-keeping-mosquitos-away/?intcmp=AE-ENDART2-BL-BOS
 Join AARP: https://appsec.aarp.org/MSS/join/application?intcmp=AE-ENDART3-BL-MEM
 AARP home page: http://www.aarp.org/?intcmp=AE-ENDART3-BL-HP
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