ELSPA/ISFE studies show that the majority of gamers only play games for 5 hours a week, while also revealing that a third of UK 16-49s call themselves gamers. Is the stereotype changing?
The research, conducted in the UK and mainland Europe, may come as a surprise to many who play games. Only 8% of European gamers, and 7% of Brits, play their games for over 16 hours a week, whereas 76-77% say they play for a maximum of 5 hours a week. That means that over two thirds of gamers are playing on average less than an hour each day while a measely number will clock in over 2 hours of gameplay per day.
You may be asking yourself just what constitutes a ‘gamer’ in their book. Well luckily, the same research unearthed some interesting facts & figures about the demographics too! Turns out that 32% of the UK population below 50 consider themselves to be gamers (though the criteria aren’t divulged in the report). 74% of 16-19 year olds nationwide label themselves as such, as do 60% of 20-24 year olds.
Not only that, but the female market is growing steadily – 31% of UK women aged 16-49 play games on a regular basis, that’s 11% more than Europe as a whole! A statement from the two parties involved in the studies says: “this new gamer is steering away from the traditional shoot-em-up genre, preferring to challenge their cerebral cortex rather than their hand-eye co-ordination.”
I can see the words ‘casual gamer’ forming in your mouth, ready to be spat out like venom. And you may have a point – while 18% of gamers surveyed said they enjoy ‘conventional’ multiplayer games, a staggering 65% admit to playing puzzle games online such as Bejeweled Blitz. 37% also play games on social networking sites (hurrah, my mother is a statistic!).
What say you all to the results of this study? Does the changing face of the gamer worry you, or fill you with pride that our favourite pasttime has become so widespread? Or are you too busy getting your 16 hours in to care? 😛