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Among Gamers, Adult Women Vastly Outnumber Teenage Boys

timothy posted about 2 months ago | from the ok-but-in-a-fight-who-would-win dept.

Stats 276

MojoKid writes: The Entertainment Software Association has just released its 2014 report on the state of the video game industry (PDF), and as the title of this post suggests, there have been some significant shifts since the last report. Let's tackle the most interesting one first: Females have become the dominant gamer, claiming 52% of the pie. That's impressive, but perhaps more so is the fact that women over the age of 18 represent 36% of the game-playing population, whereas boys aged 18 and under claim a mere 17%. Statistics like these challenge the definition of "gamer." Some might say that it's a stretch to call someone who only plays mobile games a "gamer" (Candy Crush anyone?). Mental hurdle aside, the reality is that anyone who plays games, regardless of the platform, is a gamer.

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Amazing (3, Funny)

jones_supa (887896) | about 2 months ago | (#47741107)

This suggests that we have passed a point where gaming has become dominantly a women's hobby.

Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741211)

Not really. It's currently roughly 52% male and 48% female overall (exact numbers depend on the source, but always around there)

What makes it interesting is that "women" and "adults" are two groups that have traditionally been seen as non-gamers, while "teenaged males" has generally been seen as the core audience.

Re:Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741485)

Quoting just for YOU : Females have become the dominant gamer, claiming 52% of the pie.

Read and comprehend.

Re:Amazing (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741633)

Quoting just for YOU : Females have become the dominant gamer, claiming 52% of the pie.

Read and comprehend.

That's from the description, which I think is wrong.
If you read the article it said -

Further, females are quickly inching towards becoming the dominant gamer, claiming 48% of the pie.

Re:Amazing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741221)

Are you assuming that the gamers saying they're women are actually women? Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is "never get involved in a land war in Asia."

Re:Amazing (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741397)

The summary is incorrect. Candy crush players are not gamers anymore than people who like to watch Star Trek on occasion are Trekkies or people who thought the Lion King was good are furries.

Normalization (5, Insightful)

namgge (777284) | about 2 months ago | (#47741109)

There are, of course, roughly ten times as many women over 18 as there are males in the range15-18.

Re:Normalization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741181)

As well as more females than males overall, especially at higher ages.

Re:Normalization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741197)

Under 15 year olds don't play games?

Re:Normalization (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741463)

In Real Life, Adult Women Vastly Outnumber Teenage Boys

Re:Normalization (4, Insightful)

beelsebob (529313) | about 2 months ago | (#47741521)

Depends what you want to get out of these stats. If you want to find out in which group you're more likely to find a gamer, if you have a same sized sample, then sure, you're right, you need to normalise it. If you want to find out who you should target when you're designing a game you want to sell to people, then no, no you don't want to normalise it.

Just like clothes stores (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741113)

So just like clothes stores, games will be just targeted at women, and in the corner hidden away there will be 1 game all the men will play.

Re:Just like clothes stores (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741191)

And that game is called "Hide the Sausage".

-CM

Re:Just like clothes stores (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741549)

Actually many women also like to play hide the salami.

Re:Just like clothes stores (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741595)

Perhaps, but let's leave what you and your mom do out of this conversation.

They're not gamers. (5, Informative)

loufoque (1400831) | about 2 months ago | (#47741115)

What is said at the end of the summary,

Mental hurdle aside, the reality is that anyone who plays games, regardless of the platform, is a gamer.

is obviously not true.

"Gamer" is associated with people who spend most of their time playing games inside their mancave.
People who play a bit of casual gaming on the go from time to time are not gamers.

Re:They're not gamers. (2)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 2 months ago | (#47741163)

The obvious questions here are: how many hours, exactly, does one have to play a week to belong in this group of "gamers?" Does the type of the game being played determine if they are "gamers" or not? What if they have long stretches where they don't play at all and long stretches when they don't do much else than play?

Re:They're not gamers. (3, Insightful)

loufoque (1400831) | about 2 months ago | (#47741179)

It depends what you're trying to qualify.
If it's for marketing purposes, then I suppose that the only thing that matters is how many titles are bought by unit of time, and how much money per title.

Plus how many (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741359)

Not quite, it also matters how dilute the market is. Because the more dilute, the less targetted your ad spend.

So it does matter that they've chosen such a distorted age range to illustrate their point.

Re:They're not gamers. (1)

pepty (1976012) | about 2 months ago | (#47741663)

Closer. I think for game publishers the term mostly includes people they make money off of through advertising/personal data harvesting. Your only gaming is Angry Birds while sitting on the toilet? You're still a gamer.

Re:They're not gamers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741189)

The obvious questions here are: how many hours, exactly, does one have to play a week to belong in this group of "gamers?"

No. It's the esa, so it's more like "how much money is spent on what kind of games by what kind of people".

Re:They're not gamers. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741231)

Well, I don't think that "number of hours" is a significant metric. How relevant games in your life are is probably a better metric. If, say, you follow game news, play at every chance you get (regardless of hours) and you are active in a gaming community (such as going to game-related conventions, going to tourneys, spending time in forums/reddit/irc talking about games, etc), I say you classify as a gamer. Of course, if you do spend sixteen, eighteen hours playing games per day, you also classify as a gamer, probably the addicted one, but yeah.

The thing is, when we talk about "gamers" we are by definition excluding anybody who plays video games every now and then. Unless, of course, just by virtue of regularly reading slashdot we all become slashdotters. I don't consider myself an slashdotter just because I regularly read the news here or writing comments every now and then. I read slashdot, I care about slashdot, but it isn't a significant part of my identity. By applying the label, I believe we are doing so to exclusion of something else. By saying "I'm a gamer" you are saying that it is a significant, important part of your identity.

At least, that's what I think in terms of the label "gamer". The article probably uses the broader, less strict sense of the word to mean "somebody who plays games", or rather, "somebody who buys games".

Re:They're not gamers. (4, Insightful)

TheNastyInThePasty (2382648) | about 2 months ago | (#47741533)

The way I see it, calling someone who only plays Candy Crush a gamer is like calling someone who only plays Putt Putt a golfer. As for the number of hours and the amount of dedication, they can be indicated with qualifiers like "Occasional", "Casual", or "Hardcore".

Re:They're not gamers. (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about 2 months ago | (#47741215)

The reality is, it matters not the bait of the hook as long as it catches the fish. What brings people into video gaming is pretty arbitrary, what keeps them their and keeps them playing is what counts. You'll find the majority of those that start with simple games on phones will end up expanding their game play to more advanced games on more advanced devices. Social networked games still have a ways to go, people quick linking their phones to play a shared game with their own view on their own screen, in a local, in person, environment.

Re:They're not gamers. (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 months ago | (#47741269)

Back in the day of early video games, women did not play the 'shooter' type games that were offered then (Asteroids, Missile Defense, etc.). It wasn't until Ms. Pac Man came out that women had a game that appealed to them.

Ms. Pac Man evoked an idea in women that, (A) it was non-violent, and (B) it had a tied story to the game play. The cut-scenes in Ms. Pac Man were something to aspire to getting to.

Cut to today's modern games. There's more diversity in gameplay, more emotional involvement, more reason to 'care' about the involved characters. So there is much more reason for the female mind to 'want' to play modern games. This makes sense to me. Women's brains are more in touch with the 'human' side of life. So it doesn't surprise me to hear studies showing that there are more women engaiging in modern gaming.

Of course, the risk is the female populace will join in to the males who have 'disconnected' themselves from 'real life', opting for a secure, safe place to go to when real life becomes too much for them to handle.

Re:They're not gamers. (3, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 months ago | (#47741217)

What is said at the end of the summary,

Mental hurdle aside, the reality is that anyone who plays games, regardless of the platform, is a gamer.

is obviously not true.

"Gamer" is associated with people who spend most of their time playing games inside their mancave.
People who play a bit of casual gaming on the go from time to time are not gamers.

Right... the basis of this article seems to be "We changed the definition of the word, but ignore that and look at our crazy numbers!!"
Women used to read magazines at the doctors office, but those are always 3yrs out of date so they switched to facebook. That's gotten boring over the years so now there's Candy Crush, which is a slightly more sophisticated version of the old pocket poker or pocket baseball games of the 80s. Not to demean the activity, but comparing that to what Teenagers are doing with a PC or console is a bit of a joke.

That being said, ask me about this while my wife is around and they are the same damned thing, she spends all day "Gaming" so I should be able to play as much RoboCraft as I want to. (a plug for my current favorite game: http://robocraftgame.com/ [robocraftgame.com] )

Re:They're not gamers. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741255)

That being said, ask me about this while my wife is around and they are the same damned thing, she spends all day "Gaming" so I should be able to play as much RoboCraft as I want to. (a plug for my current favorite game: http://robocraftgame.com/ [robocraftgame.com] )

I went to the page, first the page was covered by a "must have javascript to function" text.
After enabling it for the page it also want to pull in javascript from facebook, amazonaws and google-analytics.
It also have a register button covering half the page but registering doesn't appear to work unless you enable javascript for third party pages.
As someone who is reluctant to register on pages at all I pretty much said nope there.

Re:They're not gamers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741229)

People who play a bit of casual gaming on the go from time to time are not gamers.

What you call them doesn't matter. What matters is that's where the money is. Each one may not spend as much, but the are SO many more of them.

Re:They're not gamers. (0)

mvdwege (243851) | about 2 months ago | (#47741249)

Of course, there's a possibility that it's the other way around: faced with more women playing games, 'gamers' shift the goalposts so that their self-defined boys club remains free of cooties.

Re:They're not gamers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741657)

pretty sure gamers never thought casual games were real games at any point in time. No one i know ever considered farmville a real game.

Re:They're not gamers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741697)

Question, how does Farmville differ from Harvest Moon?

Re:They're not gamers. (1)

Singularitarian2048 (1068276) | about 2 months ago | (#47741251)

Did you have to use the word "mancave" there? It sounds as if you are defining "gamer" to include only men.

Re:They're not gamers. (1)

loufoque (1400831) | about 2 months ago | (#47741305)

I'm just pointing out what the "gamer" stereotype means.

Re:They're not gamers. (2)

ET3D (1169851) | about 2 months ago | (#47741337)

"Gamer" is associated with people who spend most of their time playing games inside their mancave.

Don't you mean "in their parents' basement?" :)

Sure, if you limit the definition to men then by that definition only men can be gamers. If you define by game time, I'm sure women will still have a good representation.

Re:They're not gamers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741389)

You definition of "gamer" is obviously stupid. Gamer is someone who play games regularly, that's all, that's what "gamer" means: "he/she plays games". Casual gamers ARE gamers, there are way more of them and spend way more money than any other sub-group of gamers. Deal with it.

Re:They're not gamers. (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 months ago | (#47741419)

If you are a game developer, you are missing out on an untapped market. Women deal with true, real life concerning issues. To not include women in your target audience could well mean you are missing the real target. The men will follow...

Re:They're not gamers. (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 2 months ago | (#47741617)

My wife plays a lot of Hay Day. I don't see a lot of true, real life concerning issues there. I guess I don't smell the magic sauce that makes women playing games any different.

Re:They're not gamers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741699)

And men don't deal with true, real life-concerning issues?

Re:They're not gamers. (4, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | about 2 months ago | (#47741453)

You're the one who's confused. There is no "mancave" involved in gaming, except for reclusive pimply-faced acne victims in Momma's basement.

Over the years "gamer" has evolved from meaning someone who played pen and paper rule-based, card, or board games to include video games, and all the sub-genres thereof. The typical portable device nowadays has far more CPU and graphics power than the 386's that ran the Doom series, never mind the original Atari or Nintendo platforms.

It's only *kids* who think "gamer" has anything to do with a particular style of game or a particular demographic. Gamers are of all ages, genders, and races. But, hey, if you're convinced that "gamer" means pimply faced male playing first person shooter wargame on My Favourite Platform, knock yourself out. You're wrong, of course, but I've learned many years ago you can't convince people who "know they're right" of anything.

Re:They're not gamers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741671)

"Gamer" is associated with people who spend most of their time playing games inside their mancave.

So unless I spend at least eighty-four hours per week playing games, I'm not a gamer? Sorry, but that is bullshit.

uselessly broad definition (2)

tverbeek (457094) | about 2 months ago | (#47741693)

I have some games on my iPhone. There are a couple that I've spent a few dozen hours working my way through a few times, then put away. (e.g. "No, Human") There are a few I've played with a little, out of curiosity, but lost interest in. (e.g. "Super Monkey Ball") There are a couple more that I play once in a while when I'm bored and don't want to think. (e.g. "Trism")

Which doesn't make me a "gamer". The only console I've ever owned was an Atari, the last game I played on a screen larger than 3.5 inches was "Riven", and quite frankly I'd rather listen to someone talk about football (which bores me to tears, but at least I know how it works) than hear about whatever games they're playing. I'm sure I could find a common interest or two with many (maybe even most) gamers – perhaps political views, movies or comics or TV shows, hobbies or activities, etc – but they have nothing to do with the fact that I also have some games on my iPhone.

So if your definition of "gamer" is broad enough to include both me and "Call of Warcraft" players, you might as well just say "people" instead. (And pointing out that adult women outnumber teenage boys is not exactly an insightful or useful factoid.)

Statistics (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741117)

Taken directly out of their ass.

Looking back (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741119)

I remember the time the hipsters came to me and told me steve jobs was dead. I cried, I drowned my tears in the semen of 1000 men.

But in all, I remember.

I remember the one time I was lucky enough to be in the bathroom with steve himself. He came in with his gaggle of monocle wearing thugs in the bathroom of the iStuff convention.

He shit, he didn't flush.

I ate the shit for days, yet I knew for a fact that the peanuts steve eats are the best tasting things that have ever crossed my lips

Horrible summary (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741123)

The article summary is incoherent and wrong. The article clearly states that Male games make up 52% of the pie, not Females. Secondly, the given the total population of women over the age of 18 is vastly greater than the population of boys aged 18 and under, I have no idea what the point of comparing those two particular statistics is.

This summary is THE example of starting from a conclusion. It is clear that the submitter cares more about the narrative of "female gamers are dominating" then the actual facts of the situation.

Re:Horrible summary (2)

mvdwege (243851) | about 2 months ago | (#47741259)

I have no idea what the point of comparing those two particular statistics is.

Maybe the point is to point out how stupid it is to concentrate advertising and journalism on a very vocal minority?

Re:Horrible summary (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 2 months ago | (#47741639)

That problem has occured for decades now. The 'youth' focus of culture started mainly in the 50's and has progressed since. Before then, musical tastes centered on older people, i.e. adults. Since then a lot of culture has focused on the resistance to grow up and the tensions of the age of adolescence. People strive to remain young and it's not 'cool' to appreciate, for example, jazz or 'classical' music.

It's almost like the permanent infantilism depicted in Huxley's "Brave New World" has come into fruition. (no, Huxley's book was NOT primarily about 'test tube babies.' You had a bad teacher if that's all they emphasized when you were required to read it.)

It'd be good if culture could refocus on respecting the notion of growing up, wisdom, and respect for elders. (and get off my lawn, too)

Re:Horrible summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741401)

I have no idea what the point of comparing those two particular statistics is

Well, it's pretty obvious: making and marketing games for women over 18 is more worthwhile than making and marketing games for boys under 18.

Of course.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741531)

Those under 18 demographics become over 18 over time. Hence why companies want to win the loyalty of young people who are both less numerous and also lacking purchasing power on an individual basis.

As an anthropological endeavor, "gamer" is useless as it can encompass a wide variety of behaviors. As a marketing exercise it also isn't specific enough. Some businesses want to be ad supported, some want to get revenue, some would rather have a smaller base to hit revenue targets.

Of course there's also the simple fact that developers want to create a certain thing. Some developer wants to make an in depth space simulator may not be inclined to make a casual mobile puzzle game.

Or... (4, Insightful)

Aboroth (1841308) | about 2 months ago | (#47741127)

Mental hurdle aside, the reality is that anyone who plays games, regardless of the platform, is a gamer.

Or, people who play video games are called "video game players", and the subgroup of people who make it a huge part of their lives are "gamers". Or some other definition. I don't know, I don't really care. If you want to generate page hits by making boys feel uncomfortable by playing mind games with a definition of an adjective they use to describe themselves, whatever. If "gamer" is going to be hijacked to mean something else now, then the community will use a different word.

Re:Or... (0)

murdocj (543661) | about 2 months ago | (#47741223)

No one is "hijacking" anything. Gamers are people who spend time playing games, generally video games. If you look at the total population of such, there are significantly more adult women than teenage boys. It's just a fact. If you feel the need to feel "special" and come up with another term, go for it.

Re:Or... (1)

Aboroth (1841308) | about 2 months ago | (#47741277)

You sound like you care more about it than I do, and are channeling your hatred of others onto me. I think if you had better reading comprehension you'd have a better understanding for what I was saying, since you completely missed my point.

Re:Or... (1)

msobkow (48369) | about 2 months ago | (#47741295)

Your sounding defensive and looking for hatred where I read only a statement of facts. Facts don't hate. Gamers are people who play games. Period. End of story. The phrase has never meant "teen aged boy."

Re:Or... (1)

murdocj (543661) | about 2 months ago | (#47741347)

No, I was just responding to your angry post. But nice try :)

Re:Or... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741403)

Kill yourself.

Re:Or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741313)

Gamer has always meant 'people who play games' - it's just that group used to be boys, then it expanded to include men as those boys grew up, and with the rise in the small mobile games, it now includes women.

Now, I admit that during the intervening time, 'gamer' has become a term used to imply the kind of gamer that plays the more hardcore games, but that's mainly because until recently, they were essentially the only games out there. Drivers are people who drive, not people who dedicate a large part of their lives to driving. Please can we not make the english language even more convoluted because you believe that it's 'your term'. It's not, it's a word with an obvious well-defined meaning. Just because you can no longer single out the group you want to associate yourself with with that word doesn't mean you should redefine it.

Re:Or... (1)

ET3D (1169851) | about 2 months ago | (#47741357)

Kind of silly to say that there can be various definitions and you don't care, then act as if there's one single definition that's being violated.

Re:Or... (5, Insightful)

naff89 (716141) | about 2 months ago | (#47741413)

For me, "gamer" has always carried the same connotation that "film buff" does: just as I wouldn't consider somebody who occasionally goes to the movies a "film buff", I wouldn't necessarily consider a person who occasionally plays games on their phone to be a "gamer".

At the end of the day, though, my litmus comes down to whether the person considers video games to be an important part of their life and their identity. For me, video games were my entire childhood, and are my primary hobby today. And even though my girlfriend never played the hardcore CRPG's and FPS's of my youth, playing Sonic, Kirby, and Nintendo GameCube with her little sister is an incredibly important part of her childhood and remains important to her in adulthood.

To me, that makes her a "gamer", regardless of whether she's played Baldur's Gate, Half-Life, and Ocarina of Time, or not.

Re:Or... (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741687)

Mental hurdle aside, the reality is that anyone who plays games, regardless of the platform, is a gamer.

Or, people who play video games are called "video game players", and the subgroup of people who make it a huge part of their lives are "gamers".

I can't speak of all women, but my mom spends an astonishing amount of time on her games (Candy Crush, Tiny Zoo, and now some farm simulator). She'll put them down to run errands or do chores, but not to have a conversation. She reminds me of me, 30 years ago and living in her basement.

The games women play may be different from the stereotypical teenage FPS, but they are every bit as engaging to their audience. "Gamers" has a definite connotation, though, and calling women obsessed with Candy Crush and Farmville "gamers" is a little like calling Napa Valley vintners "rednecks" because they're rural farmers.

Let us see your tits! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741131)

No! Not you fat guys! NOBODY wants to see THOSE!

market segmentation (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741145)

The Entertainment Software Association should be reprehended for their poor methodology.
Casual Gamers and Hardcore Gamers are two very different market segments, and grouping them together as Gamers is useless and disingenous.

They spent vastly different amounts of money. They want different things from their games. If you design a game for the average of the two, you will miss both.

Re:market segmentation (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 2 months ago | (#47741227)

My 51yo lady friend has 20K+ battles on WoT (desktop), I think that counts as a mature female gamer. For years she would not have anything to do with FPS games because of the blood and gore, but would play bridge online for hours, which I think also counts as a "gamer". I talked her into WoT because it's only tanks, not people, she was hooked for life in 30 minutes but still plays bridge every now and then.

Re:market segmentation (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 2 months ago | (#47741677)

My wife currently only plays Hay Day and some other games that would be called 'casual games.' She was even a Farmville fan for a year or so. But in the past she completely played through Diablo II many times, and I mean at the hardest settings, and with all the character classes. She used to grind for hours and hours.

And she's a mod on a pet-sim game. There are a lot of large and very profitable centers of gaming that are primarily female.

Re:market segmentation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741333)

I just read the PDF and there just isn't much to go on when compared o the summary. We see the raise of digital content, which is natural with the expansion of steam, origin, etc. I don't buy games in a store anymore because a) there isn't one nearby, b) there is no point. I can spend my money on a humble bundle, or a steam sale and I will almost always get a better deal than if I bought it in a store.

In terms of the demographics... it is a shame that there was no segmentation between those who play in mobile and those who play in a console/pc (I would have loved it if they also separated console/pc, but just the mobile-non-mobile distinction would have been way more useful). There was no surprise regarding age and the gender percentages are useless without the separation between mobile games (like flappy bird) and everything else. Why? Let's put it this way. A large part of the population owns cellphones. The population has a slightly larger percentage of women than men. Therefore, it wouldn't be strange if the percertange of mobile video game players reflected that (since, you know, it's so easy to play video games while you are waiting on your phone and why not?).

It would be interesting to know the trend when it comes to the changes in demographics of people involved in game-related communities (percentage of people that participate in forums, (public/non-public) beta testing, etc). It would be interesting to know the demographics of committed players (those that join clans and other communities and try to take their hobby beyond something that they just do to have fun and kill time). It would be interesting to see who spends the most money. Right now, the stats only say that the stereotype of male teenagers running on hormones does not reflect reality for the whole "gaming" group. But is that stereotype perhaps true in a subgroup such as commitment? Perhaps male teenagers, due to their free time, spend more time interacting with each other on the Internet. Perhaps they are just a vocal minority. Perhaps not many women try to get in communities, whatever the reason. Perhaps they do, except they do so in communities that aren't really that public and prefer to stay in exclusive communities where they can hang out away from the awful comments I have seen and experienced (yeah, it's always fun when a teammate says you suck over and over again but doesn't tell you how or why... it's also fun when you get kicked from a cs:go match for sub-par. On the bright side, I did win the following match, while the ones who kicked me ended up loosing. I took comfort in that. And yes, do notice my wording).

These statistics don't really have much to go on. They aren't useful, as you said, and as others have said.

Anonymous coward because CBA to log in. Also, Captcha: hating

Casual Vs Hardcore (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741153)

Ok, So if we rule out the Wii and the mobile phone market, it would seem that the so called hardcore market is predominantly male.

Re:Casual Vs Hardcore (0)

MRe_nl (306212) | about 2 months ago | (#47741171)

It takes "Fucking casuals" to the next level.

Re:Casual Vs Hardcore (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741213)

Ok, So if we rule out the Wii and the mobile phone market, it would seem that the so called hardcore market is predominantly male.

Alright, let's just stop bullshitting ourselves. There is no such thing as a "hardcore" mobile phone gamer.

Anyone satisfied with gaming on a 3" screen with nothing but touch screen controls is more of an addict than a gamer, especially when the definition of "game" is fucking Flappy Bird.

Go ahead. Try and pry that Candy Crush out of his hand. Tell her to delete the Kardashian app. You'll quickly see what I mean.

Inversely, hand a Wii controller to any PC gamer and see how addicted they get. That high will last about as long as "what is this bullshit?!?" takes to say...

Re:Casual Vs Hardcore (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 months ago | (#47741293)

Mobile gaming is progressing, and encroaching into the PC game turf, due to the better bluetooth enabled controllers that are available today, plus the increased sophistication of the games being created for mobile devices. PC gaming may have seen it's time in the Sun. A new generation is maturing, and it is a 'mobile' one.

Re:Casual Vs Hardcore (1)

MRe_nl (306212) | about 2 months ago | (#47741519)

Or game turf is expanding beyond its historical parameters and part of that new growth are filthy casuals beyond anything we could imagine, playing on 2 inch screens with a thumb controller like it`s nineteen eighty-four.
The PC master-race will endure for a thousand years! Win Health!

Re:Casual Vs Hardcore (0)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 months ago | (#47741551)

Today it is 5"+ screens in mobile, use a 7" or 10"+ tablet, the game has changed, deny it all you wish to, the game has changed. Pc's are less and less relevant. Wait another year, gameplay is moving away from PCs, shifting to mobile devices I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news for you.

Women will call THIS sexist too. (-1, Offtopic)

gelfling (6534) | about 2 months ago | (#47741155)

It's axiomatic. Everything everywhere at all times is some man's fault.

A few other observations (5, Interesting)

RogueyWon (735973) | about 2 months ago | (#47741157)

TFA has some interesting stats, but not much narrative to go with them. I would say that there are two big over-arching themes that are driving changes behind "who plays games".

1) The first generation to grow up playing games is now moving into its 30s and even early 40s. Moreover, while this reflects my personal prejudices only (hey, at least I'm upfront about it), I suspect that with many of the first generation of gamers being academic and nerdy types, they are disproportionately well-paid now compared to their wider generation. So the people who grew up with games in the 1980s and early 1990s now have a lot of spending power. For some years now, the 30-40 year old age group has been the most lucrative in gaming.

This is partly why Japan's importance as a market for (as opposed to a producer of) games has plummeted. Aside from "quick blast on the train" mobile games, gaming in Japan is in a very unhealthy state. Domestic production in Japan, when it targets domestic audiences, increasingly plays for children (eg. Nintendo), teenagers (Capcom) or the unemployed/under-employed "otaku" demographic living off its parents' income (Gust, Nippon Ichi, Cave etc).

This is largely because Japan doesn't have the market of relatively well-paid adult gamers that the West has. Some of that is down to social stigma (games being a "kids' thing"), but much more of it is down to working cultures. Maintaining a middle-class lifestyle in Japan requires the kind of office-hours that would make even a Western games-development house in crunch-time blush.

So yeah... in the Western gaming market, oldies increasingly hold the purse-strings, while Japan is increasingly falling out of the mainstream.

2) There is no longer one single "games industry" any more. If... indeed... there ever was. Back in the 1980s and 1990s, the games industry split neatly into two halves marked "console" and "computer", with very little cross-over. These days, that distinction has almost vanished (most console games bar first-party exclusives come to PC, Valve increasingly act as the platform-curator for the PC). But at the same time, there is a growing divide between "core" and "casual" gaming, with the latter not looking much like traditional gaming at all.

Facebook games and mobile titles like Candy Crush Saga draw nothing but contempt from "core" gamers (including many of those affluent 30-40 year-olds mentioned above). But they have drawn in a vast market which would never touch a "core" game - and that market is heavily female. So the demographic of the gaming population in general is skewing to reflect that.

There's also what almost constitutes a third tier somewhere in the middle - the "dudebro" gamer (which is overwhelmingly, though not entirely, male). These are the guys who spend a lot of time gaming, but almost all of it goes into Madden/FIFA (delete as appropriate depending on whether in the US or not) and Call of Duty/Battlefield (delete as appropriate depending on favoured brand of spunkgargleweewee). This is a big demographic, but as MS learned when it pitched the Xbox One at them heavily, it isn't a big-spending demographic or one that's particularly sensitive to technological advances.

Hilarious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741159)

I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
Here we are in 2014 with every click and view being constantly tracked and they're too incompetent to make sense of the data.

Cougar alley (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741161)

So basically gaming has become Cougar Alley?

Where's the money? (0)

MikeRT (947531) | about 2 months ago | (#47741175)

I would hazard to guess that the average grown woman's revenue to the industry is a rounding error of the average middle to upper class teenage boy's revenue for the industry. The industry won't cater to female gamers until there's a value parity between different demographics.

Re:Where's the money? (1)

ledow (319597) | about 2 months ago | (#47741195)

See my post above.

My mother is in retirement. She has owned and completed basically every Nintendo console and Mario game in existence (there's probably some obscure Japanese title somewhere, but if you've heard of it, and it has Mario, she's completed it).

We buy her the console for Christmas, we buy her the games when she completes them. It's an expensive outlay all round, given her gaming abilities. She's had more spent on her than my brother and I (old-school "gamers" from the ZX Spectrum era through to today) have spent on games collectively. She destroyed four Palm Pilots back in the day playing Bookworm.

This is exactly the point the article is making. What you THINK is a gamer and funding the industry isn't. Sure, buying your competitive CS:GO server and getting a huge rig to play it on and playing endlessly and winning championships makes you feel like a gamer. But, actually, the money Valve got from that was, what - a copy of CS:GO and maybe a competition entry that mostly went on marketing and prize money? It's a drop in the fucking ocean compared to a teenage girl or mother dropping a few quid every month for years on new Candy Crush levels or Wii Fit titles.

The industry isn't catering to a HUGE PORTION of its market. And it's stupid not to.

Re:Where's the money? (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741275)

You've got it backwards. Your mother is a hardcore gamer. But she is an outlier. I know a LOT of people who are nothing like her. If you think she represents a "HUGE PORTION" you are mistaken.

Re:Where's the money? (1)

ET3D (1169851) | about 2 months ago | (#47741447)

I would hazard a guess that you didn't look at the list of best selling PC games in that report.

There's indeed a chance that female gamers spend less than male gamers per game on average, but I'm sure that even if that's the case it's nothing like what you state.

Even if you go by stereotypes, Candy Crush Saga is estimated to make $1m per day and the Sims franchise has always been a PC best seller.

Sigh (4, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | about 2 months ago | (#47741183)

Just clarify your fucking terms.

A "gamer" is someone who plays games.

However, if you are only referring to "serious" gamers who invest hours of training to play a particular game, then specify that. Of course, most of the Candy Crush generation aren't doing that (they have a life for a start).

If you want gamer to distinguish between those who buy hardware for their PC to game properly, even that definition won't help you - I've had two people ask me about desktop PC's capable of playing The Sims 3 for their teenage daughters, and you need a decent graphics card for that.

What you want is to use "gamer" as some undefined term that meets your particular clique of game geek. It doesn't. It never has. To me a gamer is someone who was around in the 80's and will happily fight through 10-minute loading screens, unsuitable hardware, pump money into an arcade machine, for proper 8-bit graphics (not the fake-8-bit-retro OpenGL shite you get now) on a game that's almost, if not actually, fucking impossible to complete.

Sorry, guys, but most of you just aren't "gamers". I enjoy a TF2 jaunt as much as any of the other 800 games on my Steam account, that I've had before some of the gamer kids around now were even born. I've run CS servers from 1.6 to the current day. But I still sit and play Altitude like a demon.

Gamer is not a definition beyond "one who games". If you mean FPS player, say it If you mean professional-level twitch shooter, say it. If you mean someone who plays new titles on new hardware, say it. If you mean someone who plays lots of games, or for a long time, or spends lots of money, say it. If you mean someone the industry can sell games to, say it.

But "gamer" means nothing. My mother has completed every Mario game in existence (up to and including Wii U), used to play Horace Goes Skiing back in the 80's, broke four Palm Pilots playing Bookworm Deluxe so much, played Gin Rummy on our first DOS machine, and has caused more money to be spent on the gaming industry than the rest of her family combined. So the industry will target her. And get money from her. And she will buy stuff. To "ignore" her because she's not the stereotypical gamer playing whatever game is considered "real" at that moment would be insanity for the industry.

Maybe she won't join you in a 32-player CS:GO competitive tournament (though she did used to win at Turok quite a lot). But you can't say she's not a gamer any more than anyone else.

How many of them pose as teenage boys? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741209)

Or does that only happen in yaoi fandom?

Gamer vs. Hacker (1)

geekmux (1040042) | about 2 months ago | (#47741247)

Well, since we're now taking the definition of "gamer" and turning it completely upside down, do you think we could get the media to redefine the term "hacker" now?

Would be nice to shrug off the criminal overtones that have plagued that sensationalist definition for the last decade or three.

Re:Gamer vs. Hacker (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | about 2 months ago | (#47741649)

Sorry, but the sensationalist definition serves the ends of the people in power, and therefore will continue to be used by their boot-licking servants in the news media.

Lies, damn lies and statistics (3, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | about 2 months ago | (#47741279)

Statistics like these challenge the definition of "gamer."

No they don't. The chalange the understanding of statistics.
The information given is useless. First statistics do not change definitions. If you have a definition of a gamer and the outcome is unexpected, you do not change the definition. You change your perspective.
Secondly 'outnumber' in absolute numbers in a group that in itself outnumbers the other group and then make a conclusion is stoopid.
Car example : The number of adult female Ford drivers vastly outnumbers the number of 18 year old Bugatti drivers.

So first you must turn the numbers into percentages. e.g. X% of teenage boys are gamers. Y% of adult females are gamers.
Next you must clearly state WHAT a gamer is.
Depending on that definition, you might also need to include frequency.

And again, even if the outcome is 99.9% of +65 old women are gamers, it does NOT change the definition of gamers. It might change your perspective of gamers, but not the definition.

Re:Lies, damn lies and statistics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741433)

Secondly 'outnumber' in absolute numbers in a group that in itself outnumbers the other group and then make a conclusion is stoopid.

No, it's not. More gamers in a group means more potential buyers. It's a relevant statistic unless you don't care about making money from videogames, which is not the case for the people who made this report.

It does matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741281)

Discussions of who is a "gamer" by the author's pet definition are pointless.
If you're trying to convince the portion of the industry making AAA titles that they should be more inclusive of women instead of making them uncomfortable by pandering to boys, it matters a lot whether these women are playing Candy Crush on Facebook mobile or playing Skyrim on XBox.

This just in: NEWER STUDY! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741299)

A newer study says, by now 51% of all gamers are retired men and women above the age of 70! According to the study, the most popular platform among gamers is "analogue cardboard machines".

In related news: Ubisoft has recently acquired the patent for "a method to render complex GUIs on cellulose survaces using pigments with less light reflectivity than beforementioned cellulose survace with the ability to bind to the cellulose fibres" and is said to be working on a "BINGO GOTY edition" as well as "BINGO 2".

Well no, not really (1)

argStyopa (232550) | about 2 months ago | (#47741301)

"Mental hurdle aside, the reality is that anyone who plays games, regardless of the platform, is a gamer."

Maybe a teenage boy wrote this summary, because this sort of sophomoric pedantry would be part for the course for a teenager.

Yes, according to the literal meaning of the words, a "gamer" is someone who has ever played a game. In the vernacular, however, the commonly-accepted meaning is substantially narrower than that, implying someone who is an habitual player of video games, in this context, themselves being more involved than minsweeper, solitaire, or yes, kandy krush.

that's game-ah to you. (1)

turkeydance (1266624) | about 2 months ago | (#47741349)

bro.

Gamer ? (1)

aepervius (535155) | about 2 months ago | (#47741351)

What I would call gamer is somebody which dedicate quite a sizable part of his life to play video game (whether you see that negatively or positively). If you reduce it "playing some video game sometime" you get a pretty vaccuous statistic where pretty much everybody is inside. It is equivalent to calling "gambler" anybody which made a bet of any sort (casual or not) at *ANY* point in 2014. Pretty much not what is named a gambler , and so that should not be used for gammer either.

ALso video game are severly segmented. They target by segment. Dude-bro setgment (COD, battlefield), sport segment, FPS twitch competition , MOBA segment, MMO segment, single player and "retro" segment, etc... None of those segment have the same appeal to everybody. As such saying 52% of gamer are girl is utterly useless as 1) this says nothing about targeted segment 2) you lowered the "is gamer" definition until everybody is in, so it is useless to targeting.


The fact remain is that even among my numerous nephew and niece, the young segment, *girl* in average might play a game more, but disparage and persiflage against boy which still play a lot more. Sure it is anecdotal, but that's more people than some small scale psychological study use. They do not see themselves as gamer, because most of them rightfully recognize it not as "has played a video game ocne in 2014" but rather "has made a major hobby of playing video game".


That said the proportion of "gamer" aka people making it a hobby and playing numerous hours during the week, is increasingly populated by women. I welcome that because I have been tired of the AAA game for a decade or so (too many which are dude-bro shoota-shoota , women with extremly skimpy clothing, white dude with surging muscle, damsel in distress and male hero which snaps the finger and get the girls ---- where are the beyond good and evil and the world with an heroine ?) and hope to see a surge in different gaming type as women rise to be the fabled 50+%. True to be said there is a much more diverse gaming offer today than there was 10 years ago thanks to indy.

Funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741353)

It's funny reading the defensive reactions here. Why does this bother people? Being a gamer isn't some badge of honor. Here's a little secret, your "serious games" are still just games. Candy Crush, Dota, or whatever, they're all the same.

Weee - fast news! (1)

GNious (953874) | about 2 months ago | (#47741373)

Seriously, I read about this via Google+ (!) a few days ago - Slashdot is getting properly slow now.

Such a bread definition is meaningless (1)

bspus (3656995) | about 2 months ago | (#47741383)

Some people live and breath music all their life Some were avid fans during their teenage years but their interest waned as they got older, or even the other way round Some like only a specific genre, others are open to more Some only ever listen to music while commuting to and from work in their car radio. Most go to places to socialize. There's bound to be music playing. So I guess we are all music listeners. Let's see what useful statistics we can conjure up with this info

Horny teens .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741423)

Horny teens outnumbered by bored lonely housewives ... put down your joypads, fellas!

Bored housewives and secretaries (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 2 months ago | (#47741451)

The bored underclass of female assistants has been playing solitaire since the mid 1980s. I suppose that makes them gamers.

putting it out there (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741461)

I am a clinically depressed fecalphiliac on prozac. where are the ladies at?

Lets generate some "news" Slashdot! (1)

Dan Askme (2895283) | about 2 months ago | (#47741467)

New Reports from the "Common Sense Association" indicate: more Grandparents play computer games than Children under 2.

Must be desperate times for Slashdot the original article is "news".

Well behind the times. Grandmas rule. (1)

zephvark (1812804) | about 2 months ago | (#47741479)

I don't play WoW any more, World of Warcraft, but when I did, I was fully serious about it. I might spend 18 hours a day at it. I ran guilds myself and was a key member of others. And this apparently surprises people but, some of the core guildmembers were grandmothers. Grandmothers are people you really, really want in a guild. They're giving and forgiving and they can really kick ass. They've got more sense than the rest of your raid team combined and they're totally dedicated. Possibly until their grandchild picks a different server.

Is this supposed to be news?

There they go again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47741565)

The Politically Correct crowd, taking words in common usage and attempting to twist their meaning to fit their own agenda, see "marriage", "green", and "feminism". It's fine. We'll just use the term "traditional gamer" to mean "those who play video games that are not pure time-wasters or variations on gambling mechanics."

Freecell, Farmville (4, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 months ago | (#47741589)

Do you really want to call anyone who plays Candy Crush on their smartphone a "gamer"?

I mean, if so, then OK. But then you're going to have to find another name for those of us who do speed-runs through Metal Gear Solid whilst blasting death metal and swigging energy drinks.

I mean, besides, "unemployable jackoffs".

Am I looking at the same PDF? (1)

gr1z (3609029) | about 2 months ago | (#47741611)

I know we are not meant to read the linked reports, but females have not become the dominant gamer, even by the definition used in the linked PDF: Page 3: Gender of game players: 52% male, 48% female. Sorry.

LOL (1)

GrandCow (229565) | about 2 months ago | (#47741635)

By the definition in the OP, everyone who has ever played Monopoly is also a "gamer." Congrats old people, you're now grandfathered into the group!

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