ESA: Essential Facts About Gamers and Politics

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Oh Electronic Software Association, you’ve given me an early Christmas present. The ESA is the foremost data collector of statistics and data on video game consumption, usage, and attitudes.  Annually this blog reports on their essential facts about video game consumption, but today they’ve released a special report on their findings on how politically engaged gamers are. They’ve created a easy to read infographic of all of these statistics that I will be pulling from.

Now that were are officially a year away from the 2016 election, such statistics are as timely as ever. Spoiler alert: Most gamers  don’t think America’s leadership is a monarchy ruled by Princess Zelda.

votingThe results are overwhelmingly positive: gamers are very politically engaged. In a survey that asked whether or not they would vote in the 2016 election, 80% of gamers said they were going to exercise their right to vote. This is in comparison to non-gamers, which had a percentage of 75% respondents saying they were going to vote in next years election.

“100 million gamers will vote next year…Gamers are engaged, informed and hold strong opinions on critical issues. From both sides of the aisle, and in every state across the country, they will influence the course of our nation’s future.”

partyIn terms of political party, gamers are split even with an equal amount identifying as
Republican and Demographics. This doesn’t surprise me all that much, as it closely represents the general demographics on the United States, further showing that gamers are the general population. That said, significantly more gamers identify as conservative than liberal. Why gamers skew heavily social conservative is beyond me, and on what issues they lean conservative isn’t specified

Lastly the survey looked at what gamers think about specific issues.

issues

There’s some really interesting insights into how they fall on issues and this is really one of the first studies to actually ask these specific questions.  Despite the majority classifying themselves as “conservative” their political leanings on issues definitely have some socially liberal slants.

With the statistics out of the way, we can hypothesize as to why gamers tend to be more politically active than non-gamers (or at least say they are). It could certainly have something to do with their connection to online communities; video game communities are gathering places for people to discuss on-going issues. Places like NeoGaf’s off-topic forums ignite intellectual debates in their threads, and this creates public awareness for issues people may not typically come across in their daily lives. Whatever the reason for this political engagement, it’s a beautiful thing to see gamers getting politically active. There are issues out there that concern all gamers; A more politically engaged community is one that has a greater voice.

I think Simon Rosenberg, president and founder of NDN, says it best in the ESA press release:

What is so striking about this research is how deeply mainstreamed video games have become in our culture…The views of gamers are as diverse as the nation itself, and there can be little doubt now that playing video games is a near universal activity at the very core now of the national experience in the U.S.”

Not to brag or anything, but I’ve been saying that for years…Yeah, I’m cool.

Please head over the ESA website and support this type of research. We need more of this stuff, it really does make for a more educated and informed video game community.

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3 Responses to ESA: Essential Facts About Gamers and Politics

  1. 2xpgaming says:

    Great post, and good on gamers for being politically informed.

  2. Pingback: ESA: Essential Facts About Gamers and Politics | 2xpgaming

  3. Red Metal says:

    At first, I was a little surprised when I read that gamers have a bit of a conservative bias, but it makes sense the more I think about it. There are many instances of gamers reminiscing about the old days when games were actually good. It’s a world that never existed; there were plenty of awful games made back then. Unless a game was particularly bad, we wouldn’t hear about it (and sometimes, not even then). Now if a game is horrible, we’re informed of that fact and it makes it seem like they’ve gotten worse as a whole, when in reality, we’re more knowledgeable. I personally do not miss the days where I could pick up a clunker just because the box or name looked cool. There’s also the fact that rehashes and games in established genres tend to sell better than ones that show any degree of innovation – like how New Super Mario Bros. Wii sold more than Super Mario Galaxy despite the latter contributing far more novel ideas. It’s not encouraging the big-name developers to think outside of the box, so it’s not an attitude I’m sympathetic towards.

    Also, I am a gamer and I have voted in both presidential elections I could. You can count on me exercising that right every time.

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