Beyond the silver gamer: The compromises and strategies of older video game players

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Gabrielle Lavenir


The experience of older adults who play video games illustrates the con­temporary challenges of ageing and the strategies that ageing individuals set up to navigate them. The ethnography of a video game workshop ded­icated to older adults in a French cultural centre offers an opportunity to examine how a group of 15 women aged 60–82 years exert their agency as technogenarians (Joyce & Loe 2011). In order to fully engage in their play, the workshop’s participants have to manage complex and sometimes con­tradictory expectations concerning who counts as a player and what is an acceptable way to play. They cobble together available discursive re­sources to manoeuvre around notions that interfere with their practice. The result is a distinctive play style through which the participants re­claim a right to subvert expectations and, at long last, play.


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