Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Portrait of a Gamer

Last week, market research firm NPD released its Online Gaming 2007 report on the current climate of online gaming (you can read coverage of the report at GameDaily and at Next Generation). Today, AdAge released it's own analysis of the report findings, creating a series of demographic profiles of particular interest to advertisers. Here's an overview of some of their categories:
40% = VIRTUAL SHOPPERS
"More than 40% of online gamers indicated they were likely to download content onto next-generation consoles, while 25% said they were likely to do the same on their computers."

44% = CASUAL GAMERS
The most played games are card, puzzle and arcade games. 44% of respondents list "casual" as their favorite game genre, followed by family-entertainment (25%) and MMOG (19%).

17% = GAMBLERS
Approx. 17% of gamers listed gambling and casino games as their favorite genre.


20% = LITTLE KIDS
Elementary-school aged children make up the biggest group of online players. "[K]ids ages 6 to 12 account for 20% of all online gamers, more than any other demographic."

54% = CONSOLE OWNERS
"Xbox 360 owners are more likely to play online than any other console owners -- 54% -- and, at 7.1 hours a week, they also spend more time doing it."
"Wii owners come in last in time spent online, but they're actually more inclined to do it. More than 75% of Wii owners have tried online games."

41% = MOVERS AND SHAKERS
41% of portable/mobile players are between the ages of 13 and 17.

42% = WOMEN
"42% of the total online gaming audience today is female" who mostly play on PCs.

80% = THE MIDDLE CLASS
The average household income of online players is between $35,000 and $75,000.

Of course, the most interesting finding from my perspective is the one about "little kids" (6-to-12-years) representing the largest demographic of online players. But I'm also intrigued by the "middle class" dominance over online gaming. Insufficient research has been conducted on the "digital divide" of gaming, but preliminary studies show that lower-class families are more likely to own a console than middle- and upper-class families, and less likely to own a PC (not to mention one that is able to meet the technical requirements of online games apps and software). Now that online games are becoming such a big part of the gaming culture, I wonder if this won't aggravate existing access inequalities.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is very important info for game developers to chew on for a while. Female gamers are, in many cases, completely ignored and overlooked. We're insulted by being forced to "receive a bonus" of "Girls of Gaming" cheesecake by Fileplanet if we want to subscribe, we're in many cases not represented by gender in mainstream titles at all, and we're talked down to by the developers in question. Boys, get your butts in gear, because I buy hundreds of dollars in computer games every month, and my baby booties were pink.