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Industry Report: Gamers Age 35+

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let-off studios
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Just learned about an interesting industry networking group called Project Horseshoe. Initially for just video games, industry professionals have attended retreats since 2006, and have released reports on topics relevant to current and potential future developments in game design.

One of their more recent reports addresses the ageing gamer population, and how their tastes change over time. I found it very intriguing and worthwhile, since there happens to be a lot of crossover between the video gaming and tabletop gaming crowds. A lot of these folks grew up gaming on one platform or another - sometimes several, and within both video games and tabletop games, like myself - and now have kids they want to play along with (@Jay103, I think you tapped into this market with your game Heroes & Treasure).

https://www.projecthorseshoe.com/reports/featured/ph15r6.htm

To sum up, they summarize topics worth exploring as follows:

  • Altruistic tendencies increase over time.
  • The need for social interaction becomes a health imperative as age increases.
  • Predictable rewards for persistent games matter more as age increases. [but...]
  • Preferred reward systems for time investment are not necessarily linked to age
  • Games will always be a good way to fill some time
  • What is the Mentor’s Journey? [as opposed to the "Hero's Journey"]
  • Games can provide key social interactions not always available in real-life
  • Online social games may be more important for men
  • Multi-generational gaming is on the horizon
  • There is a deep-seated need to be acknowledged
  • Games can serve as a substitute for needs unmet in the real world… and these needs change over time

Again, I encourage you to review the report, as the above topics are explored in more detail. The entire host of reports posted at the Project Horseshoe website provides industry-specific, intelligent observations and knowledge from which I think all game designers (analog and otherwise) can learn a lot.

Jay103
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let-off studios wrote:A lot

let-off studios wrote:
A lot of these folks grew up gaming on one platform or another - sometimes several, and within both video games and tabletop games, like myself - and now have kids they want to play along with (@Jay103, I think you tapped into this market with your game Heroes & Treasure).

"Tapped" might be overstating things, but I'm working on it :)

tikey
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Great stuff. Thanks for

Great stuff. Thanks for sharing.
Some of those topics pose quite interesting questions.
The idea of the "mentor's journey" is fascinating not only in relation to games.

ceethreepio
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Ah, I didn't realise you made

Ah, I didn't realise you made Heroes and Treasure! I've got that, and I play it with my wife and daughter. It's great! Thank you.

Juzek
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Raising the next generation

It's true. I'm 30 and have a 2 year old. It is one of my biggest hopes that I can find games that he likes to play. Especially in the future when he can get into some euro games, but anything accessible now is great. I did not appreciate HABA games at all until quite recently.

Right now I love that he enjoys sitting on my lap and giving commentary as I play Minecraft. "Oh, good morning Zongie! I want to fight you, Zongie. GO AWAY ZONGIE!"

questccg
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Hold on there did you say "tapped"???

Jay103 wrote:
"Tapped" might be overstating things, but I'm working on it :)

Hold on there... You're using a Copyrighted "term"... You must pay Wizards of the Coast $1 Million Dollars!!! You can never use the term "tap" or "tapped"... It is strictly owned by the Wizards of the Coast since 1996 until the end of the time... unless A> You give proper attribution AND B> Pay for its use OR C> Use it for providing the copyright terms (informational usage)!

(Haha) LOL!

& : © Wizards of the Coast 2020. Informational use only.

Note #1: I heard from another designer that WOTC actually pursued another company for using the term "Tap" or "Tapped". Now while the PATENT is over... I believe they have "copyrighted" the term for usage with CARDS. I'm not 100% sure about this... But using the term in the context of cards is copyrighted... Because otherwise it would have been impossible to STOP someone else (another company) from using the term in the first place...

So this may be a COPYRIGHT thing now... And copyrights are not determined or limited by timelines like patents are...

If anyone has more information, please feel free to share...

Note #2: Not trying to hi-jack this thread... Figured it would be an "honest" way of BUMPING the thread... For others to read.

Note #3: On-topic ... The "Mentor's Journey" reminds me that from my own perspective ... It's the REASON I "Design" games instead of just playing other games. Why? Because I'm no longer the person who wants to BE a "character" or assume a "role"... I'd like to be the person who is "controlling" the narrative. When I say "controlling" it's not as in the literal sense where I seek "absolute control" ... no it's like the article says it's more of a "Journey" and I'd like to share the journeys that I design with OTHER "players" who want to embark on a journey.

So I think "Game Design" allows me to play into DESIGNING the "journey" and hoping that I find players interested in the experience. Because the bottom line with designing games, is that you want to peek people's interest and give them something to CHEER about (Yay I won this round) or to be CLEVER (Ha I figured what that was for) ... All kinds of game tid bits that add to the lure of the game...

That's why "Monster Keep" (MK) is so important to me. I know TradeWorlds is like the Flagship with over 500+ cards... But MK aims to give that competitive feel with "keeping" the opponent's cards... Making the game more about the actual psychology of seeing an opponents card pile diminish as the game gets play... Losing 4 cards (out of 24) is a big loss ... even if BOTH players lose them to the Graveyard!

It's those kinds of highs and lows that I aim to provide players... And NO "Collectible" or "Trading" card game can say they DO THIS... Because it would be IMPOSSIBLE. Sharing of cards in those types of games is not a possibility. But in a self-contained game ... Yes it is!

questccg
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Just as a follow-up

Are there any other "Game Designers" who feel the SAME WAY??? Like their games embark their players on some kind of "adventure" or "journey"? I'm not talking about AD&D or RPGs ... I'm talking about the subtlety of giving players an "experience" where they can feel the "highs and lows", cheer their victories and lament their defeats.

I agree not all games have this sort of interaction. For example Puzzle Games are more about "thinking" and becoming the last player to solve the puzzle the best... This reminds me of Doug's (@Juzek) Window Pains where there aren't too many Aha-Moments ... But scoring at the end of the game or even close to the end can be very "exciting"...

I guess most euros also fall into the category of being more "exciting" when the game is NEARLY over. It's less about individuals turns (although Window Pains does offer turn scoring which can also be "exciting")... more about overall scoring and moving forwards to a more promising position in the game (Leader track).

Jay103
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ceethreepio wrote:Ah, I

ceethreepio wrote:
Ah, I didn't realise you made Heroes and Treasure! I've got that, and I play it with my wife and daughter. It's great! Thank you.

Ha!

Hope you continue to enjoy it! Get the expansion pack :)

(guess you didn't notice that my avatar is the wizard from the box cover.. ;) )

Jay103
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questccg wrote:Note #1: I

questccg wrote:

Note #1: I heard from another designer that WOTC actually pursued another company for using the term "Tap" or "Tapped". Now while the PATENT is over... I believe they have "copyrighted" the term for usage with CARDS. I'm not 100% sure about this... But using the term in the context of cards is copyrighted... Because otherwise it would have been impossible to STOP someone else (another company) from using the term in the first place...

So this may be a COPYRIGHT thing now... And copyrights are not determined or limited by timelines like patents are...


It would have to be a trademark, not a copyright, and I'm not sure I've seen it with a TM or R symbol in their stuff. If they're not marking it that way, it's not protected.

I believe they could have trademarked the little "tap" symbol they use on their cards, though. And it would also be copyright-protected, in the same sense that you can't do a google image search and just use whatever art/icons you find there in your game without paying for them.

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