Gamers: Older, Fatter, Sadder?

Topic started by gia on Aug. 25, 2009. Last post by GriftyMcGrift 5 years, 7 months ago.
Post by gia (3,032 posts) See mini bio Level 13

Not your average gamer?
Not your average gamer?
Okay, okay, the headline is probably a bit on the inflammatory side-- but a new CDC study purports that the average video gamer is not a teen or even a 20-something but a 35-year-old overweight, aggressive, introverted male, and often a depressed one on top of all that.

That's not the only gamer data that's a bit on the worrisome side:

"The study notes that half of gamers are between 18 and 49 years old, while 25 percent are 50 and older. The CDC also pointed out that of online gamers aged 8 to 34, nearly 12 percent showed multiple signs of addiction."

I wonder what signs those are? I wonder how many of us here at Anime Vice show some of those signs, whether it's for addiction to games or to anime? Another interesting tidbit is that women say they're looking more for a diversion from their normal lives while men are more likely to use gaming as "a reason to get together." Does that sound at all accurate for your style of gameplay?

Als-- we all knew the stereotypes about fat, socially awkward gamers. But are any of you surprised by the average age?
Post by Zeouterlimits (516 posts) See mini bio Level 7
*struggles to not scream old* 
Thankfully I'm definitely not two of those things. Although not being American means I'm probably not part of the CDC's research bracket. Or concern.
Post by ComradeCrash (152 posts) See mini bio Level 7
Not surprised...Us gamers already knew that! :P Its sad that they wasted a bunch of money to figure it out... 
I guess I should be happy that I am not what they consider an "average gamer" (i.e. Fat, aggressive, and depressed) what am i? :) Stupid smart people.
Post by HeeroYuy (1,210 posts) See mini bio Level 12
You can get a study to prove anything if you skew the selection of data you're working from enough. It's not hard. Seriously, 25% are over 50? riiiiiiiight. When was the last time any of you heard someone that sounded even in their 40s on a headset. I mean, these conclusions they have leave too many holes. Define "symptoms of additction", hell, define what the hell constitutes a "gamer"? In this day and age, your grandpa playing wii can sadly be considered a "gamer"... 
Heck, for all we know they could have taken the "signs of addiction" from the old people in the retirement home playing too much wii sports and wii fit. Or heck, let's look at the other side of the range: "from 8 to 34", ok, how many of you know of at least two kids aged between 8 and 15 that get whiny whenever they can't play a game they like?
The average FPS/RPG/RTS/MMO (any of those) kind of gamer I can assure you is still in the age range between 18 and 35.
Post by John_Martone (2,992 posts) See mini bio Level 10
Hey, I intend to be a 'Gaming Geezer' when the time comes.
Post by JackSukeru (402 posts) See mini bio Level 8
Ha! I'm only half of those things. 
Reaching out to people is hard :/
Post by Zeouterlimits (516 posts) See mini bio Level 7
@John_Martone: Yeah, but surely that's a generational thing.
Post by John_Martone (2,992 posts) See mini bio Level 10
@HeeroYuy: not to refute your point... but they are out there. Working as an entertainer I'm pretty used to a diverse age range (younger skewed for attractiveness, older skewed for talent) and you'd be surprised how off the cuff conversations turn to them talking about their CoD4 skills. I kid you not. Granted, they are probably not following the blogs and watching the live streams from conventions, but they exist.
And besides, I don't put my mic in for people other than you guys, and I know a lot of gamers who are the same way. Especially console players who have an irrational fear of mics.
Post by HeeroYuy (1,210 posts) See mini bio Level 12
@John_Martone: I realize and acknowledge that they are out there, but 25%?? That has got to be an overstatement. And yeah, knowing me I probably will be one when I'm older too, but like Zeouterlimits said, that's more of a generational thing.
Post by lanaswift (636 posts) See mini bio Level 4
@HeeroYuy: Seconding @John_Martone. There's more variety to gamers than you might think, and not every gamer wants to bother with a freakin' headset. A lot of gamers don't even play multiplayer games. (Hello, me.)
Post by HeeroYuy (1,210 posts) See mini bio Level 12
@lanaswift: Seriously, both of you guys are getting at my intro statement about headsets, but do you honestly think that a quarter of true "gamers" are over 50? That's the point I'm getting at. I'm not saying there aren't ANY I'm just saying I highly doubt they make up 1 out of every 4 of us. Edit: Barely 1 out of every 4 Americans is over 50!
Post by gia (3,032 posts) See mini bio Level 13
@HeeroYuy: Actually, according to the US Census Bureau, about 30% of Americans is over 50 (that would be 1.2 out of every 4). Source. :)
And it depends, as you said, on what they consider to be a "gamer." My parents both play solitaire and "shanghai' (that tile-matching game with mah-jongg tiles) on their computers almost every day. So if one of the determining questions is "How often do you play computer or console games" and they answer "daily," they may count.
Now, let's do a little bit of homework, kids. If you look at the source, you'll see that the quote that "25% of gamers are over 50" is from Wired-- NOT the study. If any of you kids actually looked at the study itself, you'd find that what the CDC says is this:
"Despite the preponderance of adults among video-game players (~50% aged 18-49 years, 25% aged >50)..." 
If you went the extra mile and checked the footnotes, you'd see that this statistic comes from the Entertainment Software Association, which actually says that 26% of game-players are 50+, and the PEW Internet adults and gaming study, which defines "gamer" as  "any respondent who reported playing games online and/or said he used any one or more of the following devices to play games: desktop or laptop computer, game console, cell phone, Blackberry, some other handheld organizer or a portable gaming device." 
See, that's the cool thing about studies. They actually have to include this information. So instead of just yelling about it, you can actually check it out for yourself! ;) Maybe I should have included that info when I posted, too, but honestly, I didn't think it was necessary-- it's hard to filter through all of those footnotes. (The CDC's study has 51, for the record.) @_@
Post by John_Martone (2,992 posts) See mini bio Level 10
@HeeroYuy: Oh shesh, information police came. Thanks a lot gia
If that's the definition, then its believable. Plus, she's right, the thing doesn't define how much they play. Their bracket could make up like.... 1% of the total play time, but as long as they "play" something...
Post by gia (3,032 posts) See mini bio Level 13
@John_Martone: @HeeroYuy:
Well, and it's not like they're totally wrong in wanting to use that statistic-- bear in mind two things:
1) This study is to look at the effect of gaming on those who play-- not just on hardcore gamers.
2) Wired is the one who used the term "gamers." The PEW study does occasionally use "gamers" as short hand but clearly defines it as I mentioned above, segregating their version from the colloquial uses of the word, but Wired is the only one who used the more general term "gamers" without clarification.
Post by HeeroYuy (1,210 posts) See mini bio Level 12
@gia: With that reasoning it makes a lot more sense.... I didn't care to spend 10 minutes trying to decipher some of the chart information on that pdf they linked to, so thank you Gia.
But ultimately the point I was trying to make still stands. (I realize what my next sentence says isn't so much CDC's fault but rather Wired's implications from it) The title of the articles implies the gamer stereotype is basically pathetic old guys who are unhealthy, etc.etc., and the usage of the term "gamer" in the research was faaaar too broad a definition.
Post by FLCL1 (3,935 posts) See mini bio Level 7
Post by ThePsychoGamer (1,835 posts) See mini bio Level 10
Well i don't think we have any avid gamers here, at least any that blantly show it.
but signs are playing more then 20 hours a week (Check)
Puting of work work and or chores to play (check, but rarely)
Skiping work or school to play
getting annoyed by every intruption, and thats all i know.
Post by gia (3,032 posts) See mini bio Level 13
@HeeroYuy: My point was that *for the research the CDC was doing* (impact of gaming on those who game, period), the definition wasn't too broad.
Post by GriftyMcGrift (19 posts) See mini bio Level 1
The CDC is full of lies. They did an awful job of handling the H1N1 pandemic also. Oh crap. The feds will be watching closer. *shifts eyes*
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