LEAD: In computer and video games you still have the somewhat nerdy teenager in front of your eyes in the cellar of his parents. The generation 50 plus will catch up, right?
Jutta Peinze: We have 82 million inhabitants in Germany, of which 34 million at least occasionally came. If you look at the gamer’s age in ten-year steps, it is noticeable that between 20 and 30, 30 and 40 and 40 and 50 years each about four to five million people play computer games. Then come the at least 50-year-olds and there are suddenly eight million. The Silver Gamer, as we call it, play regularly because they have discovered a hobby for themselves.
LEAD: It was quite different a few years ago. How do you explain this change?
Jutta Peinze: This certainly has a lot to do with the fact that you play online with real people in successful games like “Fortnite”, “PUBG” or “Counterstrike” and thus playing gets a great social character. For example, if you are 46 years old like me, and maybe one or the other player might be 19. For example, in “PUBG”, where 100 people are on an island, they shoot each other and in the end, only one team survives , they really do everything together with the people in their team.
In the end, you have the feeling that you have done something great as a team. In addition, the realistic representation, for example, with an NVDIA graphics card with Ray Tracing in 3D in real time ensures that you escape completely into another world.
LEAD: So the Silver Gamer are also on the shooting games, which are repeatedly criticized for glorifying violence?
Jutta Peinze: This is a difficult aspect, because I do not want to gloss over anything. For an unstable character, it has another meaning when he shoots someone in the head in the game than for an adult.
When I play this, I do not feel like I’m shooting somebody. I feel more like meeting something, like the grouse. I think that’s a competitive moment for Silver Gamer without the feeling of annihilation. They just win something their physical situation does not matter at all. It does not matter if they have back pain or are in a wheelchair because the whole world is possible on the PC.
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LEAD: Where else are the interests of the older gamers?
Jutta Peinze: You really have to distinguish which player behavior has which player group with which games and which hardware. Among the 9.5 million Silver Gamers is a high proportion of mobile gamers who play Candy Crush rather than Counterstrike. That does not have much to do with psychology, it has something high-end. When you start playing Counterstrike at the age of 45 or 50, you can never reach the same level as someone who has been playing these games since he was 18.
LEAD: The 50-year-old businessman who is in the middle of working life probably also has less time to gamble, right?
Jutta Peinze: I believe that the subject of time does not matter much. Anyone who has enjoyed it once and slipped into it, takes the time, because it is a hobby. Essentially, Silver Gamers differ from younger players in that they also have other hobbies and divide the time available to them into different activities. I would imagine that going on a nature hobby or having a beer with friends is more important. I think teenagers are a bit more monothematic about their hobbies.
LEAD: To what extent is the generation 50 plus particularly important for you as a manufacturer of hardware?
Jutta Peinze: For us, the Silver Gamer are of course interesting, because they have quite money and desire for the best hardware with the best performance. They tend to play with a notebook rather than a PC, but the quality is that it does not take up much space. The gamer as such, however, buys his notebook to 65 percent due to the performance.
A good performance includes a large screen, a good processor, the best-selling processor in the high-end gaming segment being an Intel Core i7 processor, a graphics card with at least 10 Gbps memory speed, a good screen resolution and a corresponding 16 GB RAM. From our point of view, this is what best sells in the high-end segment and is also the most in demand.
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That of 82 million inhabitants 34 million at least now and then came, is totally madness.
LEAD: Especially by men or by women?
Jutta Peinze: We also have a strong male audience among Silver Gamers. This is classically related to the technical affinity of the gamer. It’s about the CPU, the graphics card, and how powerful a device is. And Asus stands for a high standard of technology.
LEAD: How is working for women in this men’s industry?
Jutta Peinze: Women are finding other aspects of consumer electronics good. Above all, they ask what benefit they have from something. I now have four women in the team who are all highly interested in consumer electronics and bring a wonderful balance to a company that has a lot of nerds on the road.
The women just go and ask, ‘What does that mean exactly? For example, in the explanation of ray tracing. All right, I can see in real time when someone turns around and feel like it’s 3D. “That’s understandable and also helps to explain technology to a wider audience.
LEAD: Do German silver gamers spend a lot or a little money on gaming hardware by international comparison?
Jutta Peinze: Asus has focus countries that we focus on because of the potential of the market. In some cases, these include Germany, France and England, some Asian countries and the USA among some European countries. In international comparison, here in Germany we have a very potent gaming market. That of 82 million inhabitants 34 million at least now and then came, is totally madness.