So, What’s Your Game?
Thoughts on the interesting and highly complex world of gaming…
The classic gamer may have been secluded in their basement for hours progressing through missions, missing dinner as “two more minutes” turned into two hours while they tried to get to the next level. Today’s gamer has not only brought games upstairs to the living room, but also outside. Gamers are on the move and they are taking their games with them.
Increasingly accessible to the masses, the sheer number and variety of games available is growing almost daily, with over 135 million games sold in 2014. From strategy to racing and sports, first-person shooter and fight games to puzzles and more, there truly is something for everyone. And with gaming available across a range of increasingly diverse and convenient delivery methods — PC, console and mobile devices, as well as some crossovers — gamers can play what, when and how they choose.
Who has time for this? Apparently, we all do. As a planet, we spend over three billion hours a week playing games online.
According to Nielsen, 49% of women and 51% of men ages 13 and up game on mobile/tablet devices. Comparatively, 65% of 8th generation console gamers are men. Gamers break the bounds of age demographics, with the average female gamer being 43 years old and the average male gamer at 35 years old. So don’t be surprised to have your mom say, “Hang on a minute while I hit this Pokéstop.”
Who games? There is also notable segmentation in the world of gamers between traditional and newcomer gamers. Traditionalists are the hardcore gamers who heavily research the best games, spend time plotting their gameplay approach and carefully selecting / setting-up their gaming kit. In contrast, the rapidly growing group of casual gamers is largely focused on brief mobile gameplay. They’re content to test out various types of games, play the flavor of the day, and use gaming less for the immersive experience, but more for relaxing and passing time.
For both traditionalist and newcomers gaming is not a singular endeavor — with 56% of the most frequent gamers playing with friends, family, or partners. Often friends plan to hop on the same server to play a game as a collective, and the side chat during the game isn’t about whose 401K is doing well, but the banter builds camaraderie and teamwork necessary for them to succeed. Whether you are a family that games together, recommend games to your friends at lunch, or are in a forum speaking with someone across the globe, this is a cooperative activity.
In short, the doors to the gaming world have been flung wide open, and enthusiasts of all ages and interests are streaming in. Users continue to incorporate gaming into their lifestyle as a method of interacting, engaging and connecting. And with more diverse devices and delivery systems — think Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality — becoming accessible to the every day consumer, this trend is almost certain to grow… So, what’s your game?