Over the last couple of years, Gamers, games and Gaming have been under attack by several different sources, and now I bet that you wonder “attacked by who exactly?“. Well, that would include people like Anita Sarkeesian, Zoé Quinn and Briana Wu (GamerGate would fall into the middle of the mess). So no matter where people may stand on all of the above topics and people, there are a lot of parallels between that and Jack Thompson version 2.0. Furthermore, on top of all of this, there is the narrative that games are made only for kids…Not to mention the fact that it’s been said for decades of debate that video games cause real-life violence as well (the US psychology Professor Chris Ferguson does not agree on that matter).
The appropriate response to this was showing the ESA 2015 statistics. This clearly shows that the vast majority of gamers are adults in the age range of 18 – 35 and that the average age of game purchasers are between 35 and 37. Marking an absolute standpoint victory, but at the same time I see a major problem looking at these numbers. Because what these numbers show is that there is a sharp decline of gamers in the next generation, and this is not a good thing for an industry that makes over $90 billion annually. Adding to this mess is that there have been discussions on how family gaming or couch co-op is something that is dying out and isn’t important anymore. This was also seen as a slant against Nintendo back when the Switch had the code name “NX”.
However, in February the latest statistics for gamers was released, something of which puts my biggest worries about the industry to rest. You see, the 18 – 35 age group is no longer the majority, because that nr 1 position now belongs to the under 18 age group and the 50+ range coming in a close third. Furthermore, it is being shown that family gaming is on a massive rise to where it may very well become the largest population of gamers. In the matter of fact, 54% of gamers play with other people. So it’s of no big surprise that 53% feel that it helps connect with friends. In other words, we are all gamers after all =) And for some of us, we have been playing for 30 years or more.
Even so, what is surprising is that 42% of gamers see Gaming as a better way to connect with family or that on average 4.5 hours a week is played with couch co-op. That’s just the half of it though, because it doesn’t stop there. As 21% of gamers play with family members, 17% with parents, and 15% with their spouse/partner. This section of gaming may very well be worth billions of dollars, and really only one major developer has this as a focus.
Looking everything over on what had given me pause and some worry about where we are heading as fans and a community. I can now smile knowing that we are heading in the right direction. So no matter what politics we are consistently having to deal with, we are still here. Nevertheless, what is most important is that our community is not only growing and changing, it is that we are passing it on to our next generation =) And by doing this, we get to reconnect to what made us gamers in the first place. Sure, it may take a couple more generations to finally kill off the stereotype that we have had to fight for over three decades. So now I get to smile knowing that one day, we will, just by doing exactly what we have been doing this entire time. Kicking ass and chewing bubblegum.
And with that said, what’s your take on this matter? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section down below!
Robin Ek – Editor
This is a personal opinion of the writer, and it doesn’t necessarily represent the other writers (nor The Gaming Ground´s) opinions.
The Gaming Ground
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