Game arcades and the "silver market."

Game arcades as social spaces have undergone reinvention, rebirth and resurgence. In Tokyo, it seems that arcades have found a new demographic: seniors.

Once the preserve of rowdy teenagers, game arcades in Japan are rapidly becoming the hippest place to hang out for a whole new generation — their grandparents.

With plenty of time on their hands and cash in their pockets, well-behaved elderly customers make up a significant and growing number of those prepared to feed coins into machines for a few hours’ entertainment.

The so-called “silver market” is increasingly important for industries in Japan, where a plunging birth rate and a long life expectancy is leaving society increasingly top-heavy.

Demographics will change with time but it appears that game arcades, in Japan at least, are here to stay.

-Chris Romero

[via Google News]