The two biggest stereotypes when it comes to gamers are a) that they are kids and b) they are males. A recent study put out by, IBISWorld, Inc. (one of the nation’s most respected independent publishers of business intelligence research), indicates that the complete opposite it true.
Results of the study suggest that most of the current gamers are older adults and may of those are – you guessed it – women.
According to the study, the average purchaser of games in the U.S. is 39, which means these adults started playing video games when they were teenagers and haven’t stopped. As if that’s not enough, 24% of current gamers today are in their 50s. These gamers would have easily been in their late 20s when video games became popular.
The early ’80s was certainly a high point for the video game industry. I’m not talking about Pong either, I mean systems like Atari, ColecoVision and the Sega Master System (then, of course, the Nintendo Entertainment System which came a little later). Sure there were systems before that (Odyssey for example) but those aforementioned systems were the ones that really started the era of “gamers”.
As for “girls,” the study shows that a whooping 38% of US gamers are female, stomping out the ridiculous stereotype that “girls don’t play video games.” This could be due to the fact that the market produces much more games geared towards girls then in the previous years but that’s not the only reason. The basic fact is that plenty of girls enjoy the action, strategy and challenge that video games produce.
Girls love to play Halo for the same reason boys do. Plus, girls grew up with these games too.
Of course, there are plenty of girls who don’t enjoy video games. This could because a lot of girls are not into all the violence and challenge associated with video games, or they just simply didn’t grow up with them. Maybe their parents never bought them a Sega Genesis. (I’m banking on the latter.)
All the girls that I know of that grew up with a game system (even the real girly-girls) love to play games. Those who didn’t grow up with it think they are a waste of time or boring.
So, it seems that if you grew up with game systems, you are a fan for life. With all the technology that comes with gaming, and all the new ways to play, it would impossible to not be a lifer. So it’s really no surprise that today’s gamers are adults, and women. This is not to say that children aren’t also a huge contribution to the industry, but they are not the majority anymore.