Meet the New Gamer
Anytime you have something novel and exciting, you see the smartest people jump on the bandwagon first. It could be a new idea, or a new technology, or even a new social trend. The vast majority will be slower to join in; they might even label the early adopters as “geeks” or “nerds,” or accuse them of violating all that is wholesome and traditional. Then more and more people will get on board, until that new thing becomes mainstream.
We see this happening with videogames. Not even 20 years ago, gamers were universally portrayed as anti-social pimply-faced teenage boys who should be doing something better with their time. Now everybody plays videogames. According to a 2012 report by the Christian Science Monitor, about 25% of players are over the age of 50, and nearly half of all players are female. Who plays videogames now? Everyone.
It’s not always easy to get reliable data on these things. Studies are often supported by gaming entities like Twitch, who helped produce a 2014 report showing that gamers were more social, more educated, and more likely to be gainfully employed than non-gamers. Of course, I’m in the videogame industry myself, so I have my own biases. But it’s pretty obvious to me that we’ve turned the page on the old gamer stereotypes. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to clean up my room before Mom gets home.