With the 2015 Essential Facts about the Computer and Video Game Industry recently explored, I thought it would be interesting to use all of the data to create a picture of who the average gamer is.
How are constructing this picture? Using the Data that the ESA gathered in their annual report on the demographics of the video game community we can pull it all together to create a hypothetical person. Granted, this person does not represent the entirety of the video game industry (in fact they probably won’t represent a lot of gamers), but it will convey the most typical gamer.
Why is This Being Done? There’s a lot of application to this kind of data. By understanding who the “average gamer” is, we can determine who the industry is primarily catered towards. While we’re making strides in being a more inclusive industry, the video game industry is still one of marketing and product creation with the average consumer in mind. With an understanding of who their target audience is, we can better understand how to expand that audience.
Views in the past. It goes without saying that one’s idea of the average gamer is something that has changed quite significantly in recent time. Years ago video games were thought to be primarily a children’s activity, but we’re discovering that this is no longer the case. The industry is no longer one dominated by young boys; we’re seeing that the industry is diversifying more and more as we go on. Thus, it’s important to reevaluate how he picture the average gamer:
Who is the average gamer?
We’re creating a person; we’ll need a name for this person. Let’s call this person Avery (Yeah, it’s a little on the nose..) Who is Avery? How old is Avery? Is Avery a male or female? What games does Avery play? Who is Avery playing with? How much time does Avery spend playing video games? LET’S FIND OUT WHO THIS AVERY IS.
Avery is a 35 year old male. In Avery’s household, there is one other person in the house that plays video games. The household owns at least one dedicated video game console, but Avery also plays a good amount of his video games on his PC. Avery isn’t new to video games, in fact Avery has been playing video games for 13 years. Avery plays games in moderation; he actually only plays about 3-4 hours of gaming a week. However, the usage of his console doesn’t end there; Avery uses his console to watch movies, watch TV and other forms of media. When he does get sometime to play games, he’s playing mostly social games, action games, and puzzle/card/board games. He plays with others either online or in person, but when he does it’s primarily with his friends. He spends a fair amount on video games per year, as he believes that video games are a good value for his money in comparison to other forms of media (dvds, theaters, etc.) Recently Avery has made a switch to buying more games digitally than physically. Last year, some of the games Avery most likely played were Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Madden, and the Sims 4. Video games are becoming a greater and greater part of Avery’s everyday life; the time he plays per week are increasing every year and the amount of money he spends on games is also increasing. How long will Avery remain the average gamer? That remains to be seen.
If Avery was a parent:
Avery is knowledgeable about his children’s video game usage. He’s aware of the the ESRB ratings of each game and monitors the content of the game his kids are playing. He believes that its the parent’s responsibility to limit the amount of time their kids are playing games, surfing the internet, and watching TV. Avery believes video games are a positive part of his kids live’s, and will even play with his kids from time to time.
1) Race statistics on the video game industry seemingly don’t exist, or at least there isn’t a reputable source that I could find. Many studies examine racial representation and racial preference in video games, but not necessarily the demographics on the industry as a whole. That said, it’s not unreasonable to assume that the racial make-up of the American video game industry isn’t that far off from the general make-up of the United State’s demographics. This leads me to assume that the average American gamer is most likely Caucasian.
2) This portrait of the average gamer is representative of the United States, and may not be reflective of other communities. Obviously we can assume that some of the statistics will carry over (Male dominated, for example, is one that is most likely true of most communities)
3) I’m only working with the research at hand. Unfortunately I’m not able to conduct my own research to narrow down other aspects of this portrait, and as a result we’re still left with a lot of mysteries about the average game.
So there you have it, a partial look at who the average gamer is. I hope this has been somewhat insightful and helpful for anyone trying to gather a better understanding on the video game industry. If not….eh, I tried.