The above photograph, taken by Brant Ward, comes from an article entitled Struggling GameStop reinventing itself. The article is an interesting one, detailing how GameStop plans on incorporating the sale of refurbished products into its core business. But what really caught my attention was that photo. That's no kid buying video games! Truth is, despite what the mainstream media might lead you to believe, THAT is closer to the real face of gaming than any photo of a raging teenager. As I wrote in my blog's mission statement (find it on the right sidebar), gaming isn't just kids stuff anymore! In fact, according to the most recent data from the Entertainment Software Association, the average age of the gamer is now 30 (down from 37 - a strange statistical blip considering the nation is getting older and not younger), with 37 percent of all gamers being over 36 (and 25% over 50, according to another survey I read last year - sorry, can't find the link).
More data from the ESA:
- Consumers spent $24.75 billion on video games, hardware and accessories in 2011.
- Purchases of digital content accounted for 31 percent of game sales in 2011, generating $7.3 billion in revenue.
- The average U.S. household owns at least one dedicated game console, PC or smartphone.
- The average game player is 30 years old and has been playing games for 12 years.
- The average age of the most frequent game purchaser is 35 years old.
- Forty-seven percent of all game players are women. In fact, women over the age of 18 represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (30 percent) than boys age 17 or younger (18 percent).
- Sixty-two percent of gamers play games with others, either in-person or online.
- Thirty-three percent of gamers play games on their smartphones, and 25 percent play games on their handheld device.
- Seventy-three percent of all games sold in 2011 were rated "E" for Everyone, "T" for Teen, or "E10+" for Everyone 10+. For more information on game ratings, please see www.esrb.org.
- Parents are present when games are purchased or rented 90 percent of the time.
There is also another interesting tidbit in that article:
Another cross-promotion tool is its [GameStop] print magazine, Game Informer, which at 8.2 million subscribers has become the third-largest magazine in the United States, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.
The third largest magazine is a gaming magazine. Do you think only kids are reading Game Informer with a circulation like that? Of course not.
Gaming is the new entertainment reality, and truly does cover "millions of Americans of all ages and background", as the ESA states. Hence, the reason why the Old Media is so determined to portray it in the worst possible light. I mean, if you are playing Call of Duty, you aren't watching The Housewives of Weehawken...or whatever dreadful fare they are phoning in these days.
Mr. George R. R. Martin Look Alike Bushy Beard Guy: I salute you! We have a lot in common, after all....