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Average Gamer Is 37 Years Old

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the get-off-my-sim-lawn dept.

Stats 295

kolbe writes "A new study from the Entertainment Software Association suggests that the average age of today's gamers is between the 37 and 41 years old. If true, does this mean that game studios should be adjusting their demographics accordingly? Is Generation X the next 'baby boomer' market for the gaming industry?"

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its only the beginning (4, Insightful)

DI4BL0S (1399393) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371574)

I'm sure as we go further into the age of technology this number will rise

Stereotypes are true? (1)

Squiddie (1942230) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371608)

That being said, I hope these 40 year old gamers aren't still living in their's mother's basement. Seriously.

Re:Stereotypes are true? (3, Insightful)

superwiz (655733) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371712)

This is the generation that came of age in the 90's. Most of them made more money than their parents on their first job out of college. They were what all the millenials think they ought to be. And having created the Internet, made or lost even more money in the housing boom, they are now going Galt by playing video games.

Re:Stereotypes are true? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36371722)

Myself and my firends range in Age from 37 to 47 and we are all active gamers. Though I don't think any of us have lived in our parents basement since we were 16 or 17. seriously though until recent years I never new many mature people that lived with their parents, nowadays though I know plenty of 18-25 year olds that are perfectly happy to stay at home (much to their parents disgust). Not sure if parents are simply to easy on kids nowadays or if they are just lazier.

Re:Stereotypes are true? (2)

gregrah (1605707) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371866)

Saving money is another good reason. In other countries (I'm thinking of Japan, for example) it is perfectly acceptable for a person to live with their parents until the day they get married. That way, they have a nice nest egg saved up for after they get married.

Having blown tens of thousands of dollars on rent when I was single - that actually seems like a pretty good deal to me.

Re:Stereotypes are true? (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36372270)

You can't put a price to adulthood, if you ask me. Not to mention the freedom for both parties involved. (Also, my rent was pretty low.)

Re:Stereotypes are true? (1, Informative)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 3 years ago | (#36372396)

What are you some kind of racist http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosuo_women [wikipedia.org] . There you go a matriarchal society where all the males remain with the mothers, aunts, sisters and nieces through out their lives. Zero divorce and no child support.

Hmm, are you a slave to your relationship, just jealousy force you to slander other lifestyles and, does the shame and humiliation of your extended bathroom visits haunt you.

Big thing when it comes to gaming design for older generations "BIGGER FONTS" at high resolution settings or at the very least separately adjustable fonts in the graphics options.

Re:Stereotypes are true? (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 3 years ago | (#36372436)

That being said, I hope these 40 year old gamers aren't still living in their's mother's basement. Seriously.

You obviously still far too young to realise what you said is quite offensive to many people. I am 37 years old, not 40 you insensitive clod. NEVER round ages up.

Re:its only the beginning (2)

cappp (1822388) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371860)

The report itself can be found here [theesa.com] (pdf). If you look on page 2 you'll see that they claim 29% are over the age of 50 - a demographic that dwarfs the 18% under 18.

I would however take the numbers with a grain, or truckload, of salt. The report nicely avoids explaining it's methodology and likely uses a broad definition of games (Farmville and minesweeper anyone?) and gamers (usually based on the age of the person doing the buying). Moreover it's an industry study which has an interest in projecting the idea of a mature audiance given certain legislative and legal challenges on the horizon.

Re:its only the beginning (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#36372524)

This is key to understanding these figures. Is it based on sales? If that's the case, considering the cost of games these days, it's not surprising that the figures would skew heavily in favour of the age group that have jobs and kids (i.e. a lot of those sales are for under 18 year olds, but adding to the mid thirties demographic). Similarly, if we assume that a large number of under 18s are playing 18 rated games and lying about their age (and the industry are turning a blind eye because it's in their interests), that would also skew the figures, considering how many of the blockbuster titles are rated 18+.

Re:its only the beginning (3, Insightful)

michelcolman (1208008) | more than 3 years ago | (#36372130)

Yes, when I was 25, the average age of gamers was about 25. Now I'm about to turn 37... I guess I'm just part of the gamer generation, and games keep being played by pretty much the same people. Those that grew up with the first home computers and are always impressed by the latest technologies. Those young ones just don't appreciate this stuff on the same level. They're only interested in all this social crap the internet's filled with nowadays.

Re:its only the beginning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36372256)

i agree with this comment 100%

This also means (1)

mozumder (178398) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371582)

that younger people are less interested in games.

Re:This also means (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371688)

Or it just means that there are two gamer demographics: the college-and-below age, and the retired-and-bored age.

Re:This also means (2)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371694)

No, it just means that the same number of people playing games are a lot older than the average.

I don't know many kids these days that aren't playing consoles, a few of them seem to also play PC games as well.

Re:This also means (1)

BreezeC (2040184) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371800)

On the contrary,older people are interesting in games.
Older people also play games.

Re:This also means (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36371900)

Baby boomers are a larger demographic than anyone else. Even if less of them as a percentage play games, they can still bump up the average.

Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36371600)

Link to stats? Standard Deviation?

I suspect if you apply a RANSAC to this data you'd find it's much lower.

Why do I read slashdot? ...

Re:Sigh (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36371638)

Why don't you just follow the link to the story to find out how they came up with that figure? It's... right... huh.

Dammit, I've been Soulskilled!

(Thankfully /. 2.0 links to the original submission, and you can get the link from there: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-20069682-17/a-childs-hobby-average-gamer-is-37-years-old/ [cnet.com] )

Anyway, reading that story, you're probably right, because it turns out the study is by an industry group trying to prove that kids don't play violent video games. They're not exactly what I'd call impartial.

Anyway, since CNet is useless, here's the link to the original study: http://www.theesa.com/newsroom/release_detail.asp?releaseID=147 [theesa.com]

Re:Sigh (1)

PowerCyclist (2058868) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371808)

There doesn't seem to be any content supporting the claims of the 'average ages'. I'm use to not getting all the info on studies, but at least tell me what the sample size was, how the info was gathered, something!

Middle age and I hate games (1)

codepunk (167897) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371610)

I absolutely detest playing games, programming them on the other hand, that I love.

Re:Middle age and I hate games (2)

Berkyjay (1225604) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371656)

Sorry

Re:Middle age and I hate games (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36371778)

I absolutely detest playing games, programming them on the other hand, that I love.

On the bright side you have a nice lawn and Matlock reruns.

Re:Middle age and I hate games (1)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371878)

I absolutely detest playing games, programming them on the other hand, that I love.

I love to program, but after doing it all day at work I quite enjoy a diversion in the form of games. Mostly it's with the kids and not very deep titles, but definitely helps to unwind.

Re:Middle age and I hate games (4, Interesting)

Grygus (1143095) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371972)

I have heard it suggested a few times that this is true of all game designers, that when a real designer plays a game, all he sees are the design decisions; the game itself can't be seen behind the mechanics, and that a good game for a designer is a well-designed game, which is not necessarily related to having fun with the gameplay. Richard Bartle once wrote an interesting blog entry [youhaventlived.com] about a zone's design in World of Warcraft; he definitely doesn't see and play the game like most people.

I am glad people like you exist, because that's why I have games. I think you're really missing out sometimes, though.

Re:Middle age and I hate games (1)

Jaruzel (804522) | more than 3 years ago | (#36372202)

Cheers for the Bartle link - not an article I've read before. +1 virtual mod point for you.

Re:Middle age and I hate games (3, Funny)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 3 years ago | (#36372066)

Darn, that's too bad. I just found this really cool game. You start with an empty text file and the goal is to combine keywords and codes in order to create a procedural algorithm that produces an environment containing further goals for others to complete.

Re:Middle age and I hate games (1)

Jaruzel (804522) | more than 3 years ago | (#36372210)

I'm like this, although not as extreme. I get bored with playing games quite easily. The number of games I've actually completed in my life can be counted on one hand. On the flip side, I have a source code folder chocka-block with half finished game concepts, and I'm always dreaming up new game ideas I'd like to implement...

-Jar

Re:Middle age and I hate games (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#36372312)

When I turned 30, I've finally bothered to sit down and seriously try to write the game I've been planning ever since about a year after I got my ZX Spectrum.

Before now, I've started it in BASIC, Z80 assembler, Visual BASIC, x86 assembler, Java and C++, (in roughly that order) and a ton of other languages in order to learn the language, and never got to where I felt it was coming together. A year or so ago I sat down with another project, ported it to an ARM embedded device using C without much hassle at all (I already knew the language much better than I thought), and in the process set myself up a complete cross-platform development environment that was invisible to me.

Once there, I decided to start the ancient project of mine again to see if I could and got further than ever before (you know you program too much and remember too much of your computer science courses from 10 years ago when you can knock up a D* pathfinding algorithm with multiple zones and movement prediction quicker than you can find one on the Internet).

Now I have an Eclipse window running on my computer at all times (literally), plugged into a remote SVN server on a remote dedicated server that I bought for that purpose alone, with Cygwin and (later) MinGW integrated and a remote Linux headless build on the dedicated server that "shows" its screen to a VNC client on my PC (which gives me Windows and Linux, 32- and 64-bit, GPU-accelerated (high GPU bandwidth) and unaccelerated (with low VNC "video bus" bandwidth), responsive and latent clients, at least three different versions of gcc to test-compile on etc. in one fell swoop) and several 10's of 1000's of lines of code that I've wrote from scratch.

Gaming when you're young just makes you want to be a gamer and make your own games when you're older, in my experience. I bet most games industry workers are OLDER than the supposed demographic of the games they write - in which case you have to ask why they wouldn't make the games fun for themselves too - after all, they play them more than ANYONE else and they become an immutable part of their lives.

I haven't played a single game in the last 15 years where I didn't try to work out how they got it to work how it did ,and some of them (especially the smaller indie titles) I have actually recreated in my own tests - just without the pretty graphics. I just bought Dungeon Keeper on GoG.com - unaccelerated 486-era computers running a fully-rotatable 3D environment. Admittedly low res, but damn I was never expecting that to work in DOSBox - and then I remembered Magic Carpet and other similar games and realised that even back then how the games worked was just as interesting to me as how they played.

And yet, I still pour hundreds of hours into silly indie games that are nothing more than pre-rendered sprites on a 2D background with very primitive physics. Altitude has sucked my life away, for instance.

Serious? (1)

devphaeton (695736) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371616)

I turn 37 this year. I figured I was written off as "completely irrelevant" as a gamer, a hacker, a consumer, as.... anything.... probably more than a decade ago.

37 is an awkward age to be.

Re:Serious? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36371754)

You'll get over it in less than a year.

Re:Serious? (1)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371770)

Depends on who you ask? It seems the average age of tv viewers hit 50 fairly recently, but that's not the demographic that advertisers like to aim for so that's not the primary age most shows get written for. The average age of movie viewers seems a lot harder to pin down, though a lot of studies state that it's lower than the tv viewer average, but it wouldn't surprise me if the same thing is true in that case to a lesser degree as well.

I don't know if the advertisers and producers have good evidence to indicate the younger demographics respond better to advertising or if they're just prejudiced towards younger viewers for some reason, but whatever the case older tv viewers are relatively irrelevant as far as the production of tv (and possibly movie) media is concerned.

And then look at all the studies showing how large the population of female gamers is, and consider how well the gaming industry has responded in that case...

Re:Serious? (1)

Grygus (1143095) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371986)

I would imagine that chasing younger viewers has something to do with the fact that they are potentially customers for a longer span of time.

Re:Serious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36371966)

No you're just awkward.

Re:Serious? (1)

scumdamn (82357) | more than 3 years ago | (#36372042)

Next year for me. I'm below average...

Nah (5, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371626)

We're all still mentally 15, so targeting us with boobs and explosions is still cool.

Re:Nah (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371780)

We're all still mentally 15, so targeting us with boobs and explosions is still cool.

Yeah... those were good times... no goatse, I mean.

Re:Nah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36372344)

Speaking of which I was driving the other day, I'm 36, watching this *nice* looking gal along the side of the street wearing an Army T-Shirt. She was talking to someone in a parked car, when all of the sudden she is looking right at me, pointing "Pull Over!" I'm thinking, "What? Me?" And she keeps doing it. Then I realize there is a cop right behind me on my bumper. He is so close I can't even see his lights anymore. No siren, then I hear a "burp, burp". I pull over... he flies by... Damn I work too much, but oh they were so nice in that T-Shirt.

Who has time to play? (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371678)

In this market, you're either unemployed (and looking), or overworked doing the workload of potentially three employees at 60+ hours/week (companies cutting costs). From my view, there' no middle ground between work and play. So at 34 years old, gaming is a legendary form of recreation I simply don't have the time for.

Re:Who has time to play? (4, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#36372068)

You're doing it wrong?

Seriously... I don't think I could survive more than a couple of 60 hour weeks in a row, and neither would I want to. if that realyl is the situation where you are then I suggest you might want to look into other lines of work.

Re:Who has time to play? (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36372286)

I work 32 hours a week, but I'm still swamped with the care for my kid and other commitments. I still manage to find some time for the occasional game (currently playing The Witcher 2), as well as two table-top RPG groups (one bi-weekly, one monthly). The gaming does put some stress on my schedule, though.

What defines a gamer (1)

Freaky Spook (811861) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371680)

My dad is almost 60 and he will play Worms Armageddon with me on the X360 sometimes when he comes to visit. Does this mean he is a gamer?

I've always thought, there are people who play games, just like there are people who go to the movies, but just the act of doing that doesn't make them "Movie Buffs" or "Gamers"

not true (2)

slashmydots (2189826) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371684)

That is absolutely and utterly not true. Think about what kind of numbers it would take to get an average that high and compare it to reality of what demographics are known to play games and you won't even need to read the article to know it's BS. Also, at the time of this posting, you can't read the article because this story doesn't link to one. Is it April Fools day already?
Yes, I play Dungeons and Dragons Online and most people are 20-40 and it's great because kids get really annoying in games (I'm 23 btw) but since practically every teenager plays video games, they would drive the actual calculated average to around 20 at the highest, not 37. 37 year old gamers exist, they're just not the average.

Re:not true (1)

PowerCyclist (2058868) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371734)

I'd have to agree. This wouldn't be the first time public faith in statistics was abused to promote a product. I'm not saying the long awaited Duke Nukem chapter has anything to do with this, but its original audience would fall directly into the 37-41 year old category.

Re:not true (1)

wind_ice_flames (894250) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371918)

Hmm. Well, I would like to believe you, but I couldn't find your data anywhere. Oh wait that is because you don't have any. All you have is your own experience with gaming. People tend to associate with others with like interests and (age ranges). So basically your personal experience may seem like most gamers are younger, but you are only comparing it your frame of reference. While I do not completely believe this report because they do not show how they collected the data I believe yours less. At least they had something to show other than stories.

Not all games are FPS (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 3 years ago | (#36372346)

If the question was "do you play games on your computer?" then all the people who occasionally fire up solitaire would, obviously, answer YES. There's insufficient information given (and commentators here making a lot of assumptions) as to what sorts of games people play. Most comments seem to think that the whole world is just like them -- and therefore all "gamers" will only play the sorts of games they do.

This report is too limited to have any value.

Re:not true (2)

Xest (935314) | more than 3 years ago | (#36372370)

Have you ever stopped to think that you perceive there to be more youngsters in games because they're the ones screaming down the headset on XBox live to you and spamming like the children they are on chat channels in WoW and so forth, whilst the older ones who are a bit more mature quietly just keep to enjoying themselves?

It's likely also that teenagers spend more time in games simply because they have more spare time, which may also give the perception that they're more common, but this is about numbers of gamers in certain age groups rather than gaming time per age group.

Re:not true (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36372394)

You don't know the ages of most of the people you interact with on-line, and I'll bet the ones you hear the ages of the least are those you'd think of as "too old". I doubt any of the hundreds of people I interact with know that I'm 55, and that if they're younger than the average age in this study, I've been on-line longer than they've been alive.

Does that mean... (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371692)

Does that mean that if you are 42 years old then you are an above average gamer?

So that's who is kicking my butt in multiplayer! I don't know if that is a better or worse than it being some 12 year old punk.

Re:Does that mean... (1)

Kensai7 (1005287) | more than 3 years ago | (#36372112)

Haha, had the same thought. Unfortunately, these questionnaires are probably faulty by definition. Most teenagers and kids don't have the time or interest to respond to demographic questions, sliding the bias to higher ages. Moreover many kids just declare a higher age than they really have to avoid "limited version" of a game (no blood, gore, etc).

I would expect the average age to be that of a university student (18-24). Of course it gets higher and higher every year because many of us have grown up with games and continue playing.

Angry Dad - the Revenge (1)

PowerCyclist (2058868) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371696)

Sounds like it's time.

hmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36371700)

I'm not entirely surprised by this but it may have to do with a few things like:
-how much it cost to be a gamer these days
-game ratings
-communal pressure for younger kids to stop playing inside and go outside

being a serious gamer does take its toll on the wallet...especially if you like your LE's

Flight simmers are older (4, Insightful)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371702)

I'm 39 and a flight simmer (DCS:A-10C, LockOn: Flaming Cliffs 2, DCS:Ka-50 and IL-2:Clifss of Dover). Do play a little bit of twitch gaming but get bored of it. For my flight simming I have thousands of dollars of gear (Thrustmaster Warthog, rudder pedals, Track IR, multiple monitors, high-end PC). Most of my colleagues are of similar maturity and also have full sets of gear. We older gamers might be fewer in numbers but we are a goldmine in value (and we pay for our software since pirating is a complete hassle - and time is more precious to us fogies than money). Too bad we're completely invisible to the main-stream game reporting and gaming companies - especially the latter who produce games with purile content and weak storylines (I mean, effective modern combat units fight *for* their teammates, despite humored grumbling they don't bitch fight among themselves all the time).

Re:Flight simmers are older (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36371814)

You should get a PPL and a light aircraft then.

original (5, Informative)

mustPushCart (1871520) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371710)

Heres the original pdf of the study.

http://www.theesa.com/facts/pdfs/ESA_EF_2011.pdf [theesa.com]

its up from 34 last year apparently. So gamers are ageing 3 years for every 1.

No quite (1)

pieisgood (841871) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371720)

More older people are playing games year on year. That would be the most plausible reason for the discrepancy.

Re:original (4, Funny)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36372300)

its up from 34 last year apparently. So gamers are ageing 3 years for every 1.

That's it. I'm quitting.

What study? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36371724)

Link or it didn't happen

Re:What study? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371838)

Here you go. Link [wikimedia.org] .

Future game titles (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36371736)

The Sims: Nursing Home

Okay, that's all I got.

Re:Future game titles (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371830)

The Sims: Nursing Home

That's the one that'll get the expansion packs "Compassionate Care" and "Death With Dignity" six months after release, but only offers two months of play time. :(

Re:Future game titles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36372516)

Yeah, its like whackamole - you run up and down the corridors hitting the call lights, (most you just shout at 'its not time to get up granny, but some you do have to change diapers, and the guy at the end of the south corridor is always hungry...

Disclaimer: I do work at a nursing home (NOC shift) I have tonight off.

The most avid gamer I know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36371750)

A colleague of mine has both PS3 and XBOX360 (and all the cool gadgets that are out there), and he gets and finishes every good new game that comes out. And he's 38, married with 3 young kids.

I find it very reassuring that middle age family life may not be that bad after all...

More to do with the "age" dropdown box" (1)

Rsriram (51832) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371752)

Many youngsters play games online and simply use 1970 as their year of birth to avoid issues with being underaged. If this survey has been done online, they have to adjust for these data errors in which case they might arrive at a lower age.

Re:More to do with the "age" dropdown box" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36372220)

I used to use 1900 -- back in the '90s when sanity checks allowed it.

Seems odd that '70 would be the go-to year, with '50 being rounder and equally valid.

Link (3, Interesting)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371758)

So now we're posting submissions without sources that try to make an entire discussion out of a single alleged factoid? Seriously?

Most links I can find on this topic point to CNET [cnet.com] , but this [theesa.com] is the closest thing I can find to the original source. One website high in the google results links to pdf of this supposed study, but the link is dead.

Re:Link (1)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371828)

Oh God dammit I'm an idiot. I did find the original source, it was right on that page. I'd now like to point out, however, that the "study" [theesa.com] appears to be a bunch of market research tidbits, for which even the ESA's original presentation doesn't provide a concrete source other than crediting them all to the NPD group. At least, with a few dozen random facts on every page they stop every three pages or so to attribute a particular graph to NPD; other than that and about a million quotes, they don't source anything at all.

This so called study is nothing but the ESA trying to spin a bunch of market research babble into a factual narrative about gamers. They're trying to create the story and history of gaming as it's still developing rather than let it play out naturally.

Re:Link (1)

kolbe (320366) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371946)

Actually, the data gathering was in part carried out by the Nielson Company (was in the original ESA subscriber newsletter), but they did fail to list ALL of their sources within the document. However, next to the Baby Boomers, "Generation X" is the 2nd largest demographic of people in the USA and it does make rather obvious sense in what the ESA is saying. As I posted in another comment, the ESA's official public review of the data can be found here [nielsen.com] if you are interested.

Re:Link (2)

kolbe (320366) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371970)

Oops! I linked Neilsen instead of the ESA document here: http://www.theesa.com/facts/gameplayer.asp [theesa.com]

Re:Link (1)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 3 years ago | (#36372092)

Um, yeah, that's what I linked to in the first place.

doubtful (1)

EoN604 (909459) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371782)

I'd heard these type of claims before, I'd love for it to be true, but I find it VERY hard to believe.

Wait a Minute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36371804)

So for every 18 year old gamer there's someone who is 58? I agree the average is probably pretty high (probably in the 20's), but an average of 35+ seems to me a bit much.

They already are (1)

atomicbutterfly (1979388) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371806)

If true, does this mean that game studios should be adjusting their demographics accordingly?

The game studios already are, that's WHY the demographics have changed. The influx of mainstream casual games are the primary reason for the shift. Good games like Bejeweled and Plants vs. Zombies, OK games like Angry Birds, and particularly dodgy ones like FarmVille, they all exist because the studios have wanted to tap into the casual market which traditional games was not suitably targeting. The Wii is also part of this of course, as well as party games like Guitar Hero.

In other words, no, the studios don't have to change a damn thing because it's the studios themselves, by tapping an untapped demographic, which has resulted in the average gamer being 37. Finally all gaming sectors are suitably covered now, from your regular hardcore crazies to my mum.

I do wish we had less regenerating health and popamole combat games though...

Adjust their demographics how? (1)

mentil (1748130) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371816)

The major game publishers already do market research which isn't published, they know and have known the age distribution of gamers. The effect that being older has on gaming has been known for years (preference for mature themes, short play sessions, greater access to credit cards, etc.).
I think (some) baby boomers are the only ones surprised that video games aren't just for kids.

How have the stats been collected? (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371834)

If they took into account the age people enter as age verification, then their results wouls be horribly wrong.

For most places, in the age verification column, I enter my age as 100, or DOB as 1 jan 1900 (1 jan is defaukt, just change the yr to 1900)

Re:How have the stats been collected? (1)

kolbe (320366) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371932)

You need to be a subscriber to get the raw sample data information, but their summary is listed here: http://www.theesa.com/facts/gameplayer.asp [theesa.com]

Re:How have the stats been collected? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36372404)

what year do you think this is?

At some point they might make games for them too. (1)

jozmala (101511) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371844)

Its just very shameful that game makers consider that games are only played by children and make only that kind of content, 1987 they made only child's games and they didn't fix that by 1996 or 1997 maybe they will fix it now.
______
Its time to kick ass and chew bubble gum. I'm all out of gum.
---------
Please state your age.

Yes sure you are.

To verify your age please answer these five simple questions.
---------
I live again.
---------

The Atari 2600 and PacMan Generation (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36371858)

I don't want to get on a "remember-when" rant, but here I go anyway... I'm 42. I grew up in the late 70s/early 80s. I remember the hand-held electronic games (Galaxy Invader 1000), home video game consoles (first the pong-style games, then Atari VCS, Intellevision, Vectrex!), the first big coin-op games (Space Invaders, Asteroids, Defender, Pac Man), home computers (Atari 400/800, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum). This was a new and exciting time. Best toys ever. I never really played board games or sports (until university). It was all video games. New things came monthly... and that continued through the 16-bit era to PCs. I remember Wolfenstein 3D and the original Doom when it was brand new. I remember Half Life. Hell, I remember (and still own) flight simulators for the ZX Spectrum, Atari 800, Atari ST (SubLogic FS:II), and every version of MS Flight Simulator for the PC since 1992. Now I play Wii games and on the PC, Portal 2 and Left 4 Dead.

It doesn't surprise me at all that the average age of gamers is in my neighborhood. Does it surprise anyone (besides youngsters)?

Let me guess (1)

MikShapi (681808) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371874)

The average gamer, as identified through PAID software demographics, is 37.

Put otherwise, the average PAYING gamer is 37.

Re:Let me guess (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36372014)

And your point is?

Hint: Pirates do not put food on developers' tables.

Does this study count (1)

h4x0t (1245872) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371886)

50 year old women on farmville? Cause I sure don't.

The real source (1)

kolbe (320366) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371922)

I'm not sure why, but my original submission source link did not carry over to the actual post on /. for some reason. First time submitting, so I figure I'll figure it out next time.

In any case, all of these stories out there from C|NET and TIME originate from an ESA Subscriber document posted Monday with analytic data in it. However, you have to be a subscriber to see the raw data. Their official summary of the data is posted here [theesa.com] if you are interested.

Personally, I found the data intriguing and since I too fit within their specified demographic (as do many of you), found it news worthy.

Re:The real source (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#36372178)

Don't be too hard on yourself. The 'editor' could have fixed it or dumped it from the queue if it was that bad.

obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36371926)

this has nothing to do with the average age of gamers, and everything to do with the age of the average gamer.

i.e. they did a bunch of undocumented research to determine who was the average gamer, then asked them their age.

Nope (1)

Andtalath (1074376) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371930)

This suggests that the game market today is most easily accessible and liked by a certain type of people who happens to be 37-41 years old.

My guess?
That's an age where you start to cut back hours on the job and start earning real money.

Buying a bunch of stuff which might be fun for a few hours is worth it then.

The Important Info (1)

Ventriloquate (551798) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371958)

Average gamer? I think what is important is the total number of gamers and then at what ages those gamers tend to be higher in number.

Who admits to being under 18 except maybe FBI (1)

Shadukar (102027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36371960)

I realize it's the right thing to do for a person of seasoned age to make jokes about how bad/dumb/noob/etc kids are these days (cause these days are so much worse than back in the good old days) but I really doubt any of them are admitting to being under 18 in any sort of online experience - be it surveys or being asked by various forms.

Meanwhile, a lot of companies will ask for your age (to protect themselves from retarded laws most likely but possibly for marketing reasons also). This includes but not limited to going to websites for demos/trailers and/or promotional websites (and also porn ofc).

  I make it a point to select lowest possible year of birth (usually 1900) because "fuk da police"

By similar token I think most under-18s will not actually say they are 18 at any stage because there's just no advantage to saying your real age while there's a very high chance of being forwarded to kids.yahoo.com instead of the good stuff.

Gee I guess that makes the average gamer a fag. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36371980)

Anyone over the age of 17, (Which happens to be the age of Justin Bieber) is gay. Actually Justin Biever is the most manly man evah.

-Seriously I know you faggots are all living in you mother's basement.

Oh Dear... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36372088)

This is just so wrong on so many levels.... I wonder whether they still live with mom and dad as well.

"Share This Story" (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 3 years ago | (#36372122)

It says at the bottom under the alleged quote. "Share This Story"

WHAT STORY?

Re:"Share This Story" (1)

kolbe (320366) | more than 3 years ago | (#36372214)

When I originally submitted it, the post looked like this [slashdot.org] . However, the link was lost somehow when it was officially posted. Not sure why. In any case, the link to the story is at this link [cnet.com] and originally from this site [theesa.com]

Makes sense I guess (1)

severn2j (209810) | more than 3 years ago | (#36372136)

We (I'm 40) were the first generation to have video games in the home, so it makes sense that we would still be playing them.. I expect that in 20 years, the average age of gamers will be 15-20 years higher than now.

Re:Makes sense I guess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36372272)

more likely it'll plateau somewhere [xkcd.com] , possibly where it is already

Re:Makes sense I guess (1)

Your.Master (1088569) | more than 3 years ago | (#36372508)

Really? 37-41 is already older than the average American, period (I assume this study refers to Americans because the ESA is American). This already implies that older people are more likely to game than younger people. I'll grant that you can take infants out of the young end of potential gamers, and then 37-41 might be below the adjusted average American's age. But upping that range to 52-61 is an enormous skew toward older people playing games and younger people not playing them (either that, or an enormous change in demographics).

That explains it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36372240)

They must be the ones still playing Mario.

Stupid (1)

LS (57954) | more than 3 years ago | (#36372364)

does this mean that game studios should be adjusting their demographics accordingly?

Are you actually suggesting that game studios don't do intensive research on market demographics?

Dumbest slashdot "story" ever.

nobody cares (2)

epine (68316) | more than 3 years ago | (#36372472)

What they care about is mean time between purchase at full retail value for the same product every other short-attention-span twitch spender is buying that week.

Even when I gamed a lot, I only bought the epic titles and beat them to death. My passing from the gaming demographic went unnoticed by the marketroids.

The rule of thumb is that bad money drives out good. When the idiot demographic pays too much for bad content, the companies soon lose interest in making the good content.

I'm sure I just opened myself up for contradiction by epic counter-example. I rest my case.

Read the happiness literature on novelty saturation, then estimate the supply/demand curve intersection involving those who haven't.
 

I didn't know ... (1)

datorum (1280144) | more than 3 years ago | (#36372500)

... but next time when I see someone in Team Fortress I probably will think "should I help this person crossing the street" before shooting them ...

Yay ! (1)

Pop69 (700500) | more than 3 years ago | (#36372512)

I'm finally above average in something !

That's a good thing isn't it ?
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