Skip to main content

The New Face of Gaming



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:

  1. Consumers spent $24.75 billion on video games, hardware and accessories in 2011.
  2. Purchases of digital content accounted for 31 percent of game sales in 2011, generating $7.3 billion in revenue.
  3. The average U.S. household owns at least one dedicated game console, PC or smartphone.
  4. The average game player is 30 years old and has been playing games for 12 years.
  5. The average age of the most frequent game purchaser is 35 years old.
  6. 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).
  7. Sixty-two percent of gamers play games with others, either in-person or online.
  8. Thirty-three percent of gamers play games on their smartphones, and 25 percent play games on their handheld device.
  9. 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.
  10. 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....

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Gamer's Review: Hellsing Ultimate

Is it too early to start queuing up some entertainment for Halloween?  Just a bit.  Regardless, I find myself doing just that.  Part of the reason is that summer for my region never really arrived.  Instead of the requisite heat and humidity, we were treated to largely cool, dry days.  Really, it has felt like little more than an extended late spring or early autumn.  As a result I have found myself yearning to get autumn underway as there isn't any point of continuing this useless summer.  This is why I have been looking forward to Halloween: it is THE holiday of autumn!

But in addition to that, two games have recently awakened in me a love for the horror of "urban fantasy":  Shadowrun Returns, and The Secret World.  As I detailed here, those two games have hit a home run with me, and made me reconsider the whole horror genre - a genre I never particularly cared for seeing the low budget "torture porn" tripe coming out of Hollywood these days.   And that is p…

The Catholic Sensibilities of Shadowrun Returns

"Classic cyberpunk characters were marginalized, alienated loners who lived on the edge of society in generally dystopic futures where daily life was impacted by rapid technological change, an ubiquitous datasphere of computerized information, and invasive modification of the human body." – Lawrence Person
It has often been observed that Christ did not associate with the rich and powerful, but rather with the downtrodden, the rejected, the disreputable.  This is no small thing to consider, especially in a world where the glitterati continue to dominate popular culture.  Oh sure, the have-nots are often feted, sometimes even by the glittering class itself, but only ever so briefly.   Very quickly they are ushered off the stage, usually when the celebri tire of the spectacle, and are promptly forgotten until the next round of self-hating guilt bubbles to the surface of the rich and powerful's collective psyche.  Alas, such is the way of the world.

Be that as it may, it is …

Board Game Glory: Ogre

Yes, I am enjoying my time away from PC gaming!  It feels good to get involved with a fresh game genre again.  And I couldn't have picked a better time: board games and miniatures seem to be going through an veritable explosion of creativity, something that is, coincidentally, being fueled through Kickstarter and other crowd-sourced methods that are also popular with the PC gaming crowd (but I think with better results).

To be honest, I have begun to believe that not all of the problems that are plaguing PC gaming is due entirely to shoddy business practices.  Rather, I think video games have hit a brick wall of realistic possibility.  That is, while the technology to make a super-realistic, super-immersive games might now exist, the programming skills to take advantage of that possibility don't exist.  Or, perhaps more accurately, those skills do exist, but the task of programming such monstrously complex games requires more time and money than any game developer has availab…