Two different reports that came out this year both came to the same conclusion – the number of gamers is increasing and the demographics of gaming are changing all the time. That old stereotype of a gamer being male, and aged anywhere from teens to early thirties, is no longer valid. Gamers today come in all ages and both sexes.
In the UK, the Internet Advertising Bureau actually suggested that women are now dominating the gaming population, making up 52% of the gaming population in the UK. That’s an increase of 3% since 2011, when women accounted for 49% of the gamers in the country.
Meanwhile the Entertainment Software Association in the USA suggests that women make up 48% of the gaming population in the country, while men account for the other 52%. And, of the whole population in the United States, 59% are gamers of some description.
We may not all be playing games on the pc, though. Many people who would be included in those numbers of gamers mentioned above are playing on their mobiles, and perhaps this is why the numbers of women playing have increased so much in recent years. Games include those such as mobile bingo and casino games, puzzler games and games that help you increase your word power – you can find out more here about games like bingo that are taking priority on many people’s mobiles. In the survey by the Internet Advertising Bureau, over half of those surveyed (54%) claimed their mobile to be their favourite place to game, and a quarter of those used their mobiles to game each day.
When you think about it, it makes a lot of sense that more people are gaming on their mobiles. It’s a way of playing a number of different games without having to commit a lot of time to it; you can fit games around different activities when you play on your mobile.
However, it’s not just on our mobiles that the new numbers of gamers are playing. Both surveys suggested that gaming is becoming more of a family pastime, where the whole family gathers together and shares the fun of gaming, rather than it being a solo pursuit where the gamer is more of a loner character. In the 2014 Entertainment Software Association report, 18% of gamers played with their parents, while 32% play with other family members. Another 14% played with their partner or spouse on a regular basis, while 42% played with friends. Even when we don’t play with people that we know, 62% of the respondents to the ESA survey said they played games with others, in person or online, thanks to the numerous choices of multi-player games.
While it’s difficult to find out who is gaming exactly where and when, these kinds of surveys reflect what we see happening around us, in public spaces and at home. Gaming is becoming a universal activity, no matter what platform we use to do it on.