There has always been a negative light portrayed on the gaming community, especially the further back in time you go. Mainstream medias like to portray us as these unhealthy slobs that permanently dwell in basements and hiss at the sun while hiding from job opporutunities and IRL happiness. The reality is that the gaming community is incredibly diverse and Alienware has teamed up to fight the "typical gamer" stereotype with a detailed report giving some surprising statistics. So the next time you're at a family holiday and get your balls busted by Aunt Judy, whip out these fast facts.
It's no secret that the gaming industry and community has undergone massive changes through the years. Gaming, as a whole, is more widely accepted than ever before and somehow, we're the cool kids now. What was once thought of a very "niche" community has grown on a global scale and is more diverse than ever before.
Courtesy of Don't Feed the Gamers and Alienware, we've got some interesting tid-bits about exactly how we're growing and evolving:
"As the figurative face of gaming has changed, so has who people think of as a “gamer.” Looking to set the record straight on the profile of today’s players, Alienware partnered with a third-party research firm, Researchscape, to conduct an extensive online survey of 5,763 video game players from 11 countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, New Zealand, UK and U.S.) on today’s gaming habits, attitudes and the wider gaming community. To qualify for the study, respondents had to play videogames on desktops or laptops for at least an hour a week."
"In the same findings, Alienware defines "Who is today's gamer" by smashing right through those less than flattering stereotypes, "The survey results confirm, today’s gamer is not the stereotypical teen loner playing in his parents’ basement. He's a coworker with two kids, the woman at the gym, a fellow volunteer – and most commonly, a spouse, sibling or friend. But they all have in common that they proudly call themselves a “gamer.”"
"Gone are the days that being called a “gamer” is derogatory. According to those surveyed, fewer than one in 10 feel either “judged,” “childish” or “embarrassed” being called a “gamer” (8-9% each). Instead, they consider “gamer” a positive label and feel “fun” (35%), “cool” (29%), or “excited" (26%) as a result.
"Through online platforms and social media, fueled by the popularity of esports and innovations in PC gaming rigs, the gaming community is growing in size, diversity and inclusiveness. Gamers are not shy about sharing their love of gaming with others and inviting others to share in the enjoyment, with 27% having introduced three to four friends or family members to gaming, and 25% having introduced five or more. With the accelerated pace at which gaming is going mainstream, it’s safe to bet those unfamiliar with gaming will start to see it pop up in their daily lives before they know it."
As for why many chose to spend their time gaming, they "are increasingly turning to videogames for relaxation (60% of respondents), passing the time (51%) and relieving stress (49%). A little under half (40%) of gamers are not concerned with their skill level, yet ironically, no one likes to identify as a "noob" (gamer code for the new kid on the block). Just under 6% identified as noobs, while 14% consider themselves to be just beyond noob level; 40% identify as casual gamers, 25% as "pretty darn good", and 8% feel they can compete with pro gamers. And a fun fact - gaming for a living can net a pretty penny with some of the top players bringing in as much as $500,000 a month for their videos."
They also dove into life outside of gaming from gamers themselves:
"When not gaming, their attention is spent on music (63%) and spending time with family (59%) or friends (55%). Traveling (50%) and reading and writing (46%) were also popular. Players in Brazil (52%), France (58%), and Canada (49%) in particular are more inclined than others to be more curious and want to learn about new things.
Gamers in Brazil (46%), China (46%), and India (41%) enjoy breaking a sweat to stay fit, while Canadian gamers prioritize quality time with family (68%), friends (64%), and pets (40%). Their American neighbors are more inclined than anyone to spend time with their pets (45%) and are almost as sports-mad as the PC gamers from India are (46% vs. 58%)."0comments
Other nuggets of knowledge dropped includes the benefits of gaming and more:
- * Gone are the days that being called a “gamer” is derogatory. According to those surveyed, less than one in 10 feel either “judged,” “childish” or “embarrassed” being called a “gamer” (8-9% each). Instead, they consider “gamer” a positive label and feel “fun” (35%), “cool” (29%), or “excited" (26%) as a result.
- Close to four out of 10 survey respondents said that, because of gaming, they are more strategic thinkers (39%), have improved hand-eye coordination (37%) and increased reaction time (36%). Some even perceive that their teamwork (27%) and leadership (18%) skills have improved. The more advanced the gamer, the more likely they are to report an increase in these benefits. Half of gamers at pro level (54%) claimed that gaming has made them more strategic thinkers and 42% of pros said they are more tech savvy compared to 18% of casual players and only 14% of noobs.
- One in four survey respondents have made new friends (26%), become closer to certain friends who game (25%) and made close friends through gaming (25%). While nearly two-thirds (63%) of gamers were influenced by their friends to get into gaming, 43% by their family. Regardless of their current age, almost two-thirds of respondents started playing video games in their teens or earlier.
- Teenagers are most likely to realize the social benefits of gaming, like forming new friendships (45% of those 14-17), enjoying camaraderie (39%) and becoming a more confident individual (28%).
- People are increasingly turning to videogames for relaxation (60% of respondents), passing the time (51%) and relieving stress (49%).
It's pretty interesting stuff, especially if you are one of those gamers that's faced with the uglier side of stereotypes yourself. You can learn more, including the methodology of research, in the video at the top of the article!