Taito Corporation, an international gaming company, is keeping up in a youthful market by shifting its attention to the mature 55+ demographic.
The inventor of Space Invaders has opened 130 gaming arcades across Japan, called Hello Taito centers, in the hopes of capturing the emerging grey society. Bright lighting, free blankets and tea help lure elderly gamers.
Chieko Kofuji, 76, is a big fan of a Hello Taito center in Kamaeri, a suburb of Japan. "I would grow senile if I stayed at home all by myself," Ms. Kofuji, a widow, told The Australian. "But I can forget everything while I am here playing games."
The average player spends almost $25.00 USD a day.
Taito spokeswoman Ayako Ikuta told The Australian, "The older customers prefer relatively simple games over racing car or martial arts games." She added, "You still need to use your hands and your fingers and it's a good way of keeping mentally active too."
The grey market is seen throughout recession-torn Japan as a economy booster.