Video games are more than what they used to be. Mainstream culture is increasingly accepting gaming culture into its midst, rather than making pre-emptive judgments during background checks for college students. There’s less of a stigma around gaming nowadays, with e-sports and streamers showing that it can be a profitable income source and a viable source of professional competition.
With the face of gaming changing, what about the faces of gamers themselves? The demographics of gamers are changing as it becomes a more acceptable hobby, so what does that look like in more practical terms?
More Female Gamers
Although the stereotypical image of a gamer is a young male, in 2020 nearly half of all gamers are actually female. Women are also shown to be among some of the more dedicated gamers, often learning and spending a lot of time tweaking their computers and systems to better suit their purposes.
Female gamers have also been able to earn money from their love of gaming, with female gaming streamers increasing in popularity. To meet the demand, gender representation in gaming has also become more equal. Following the introduction of leading figures like Ellie from The Last of Us, engagement in female-focused games has shot up in popularity with both men and women. Clearly, the future is female in gaming as well.
Older People Taking Up Controllers
Games are getting more expensive, and adults generally have more disposable income to sink into gaming resources. Even knowing why your WiFi is faster shows that basic things like a strong internet connection can help higher-quality games be played in the ways they are meant to. For some games, that means they are marketed to older gamers with more money and more control over their environment than a student or teenager.
The average gamer age is 31, meaning many gamers are much older than that, given that we know that there are plenty of gamers in their teens as well. With more and more older gamers, we might see the move towards more sophisticated gaming plot-lines and greater investment in franchise games that can hook an audience for years, to suit the attention span of adults.
With a more diverse audience come more diverse games. Diversity in characters, plots, and formats are increasingly common, particularly in two key areas.
Types of Games
Whether people want in-depth tools, like Minecraft hosting for old classics, or can only game on their phones, the gaming industry is there to supply the demand. The formats of games are changing just as much as the people playing them, with more investment than ever going into mobile gaming. In addition, there is a constant battle going on between computer and console gaming, with each industry fighting to win over the other. In short, there has never before been as much choice in gaming as there is now.
Diverse Gaming Representation
In addition, the characters and plots of games have changed as well. There is much more focus on plots to encourage an emotional connection from gamers. Players can follow a character’s story arc through games, much like movie franchises or book series. Indeed, franchises like Star Wars have even included game events in their official repertoire. All this goes to show that gamers have become more thoughtful and engaged with the content of their games, rather than thinking of them as purely a pastime. There is more thought on both ends: consideration going into the creation of games, and consideration going into the playing of them.
All in all, the face of gaming has changed a lot. The demographics of gamers are set to change even more in the years to come; for such a modern industry that constantly adapts to new technology, it is only to be expected.