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Pew Research: Self-identified "Gamers" more male, less white than all "game players"

Giolon

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They're also poorer.

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2015/12/survey-gamers-are-poorer-more-male-less-white-than-game-players/

Ars Technica said:
Now, a new survey of US adults from the Pew Research Center shows that people who apply the "gamer" label to themselves are quite different from the wider population that plays games, both demographically and in terms of opinions about the medium. Those self-described gamers are much more likely to be young, male, non-white, and poor when compared to "non-gamer" game players.
Ars Technica said:
The proportion of the population that says it "ever" plays video games is roughly equivalent across gender, racial, and income lines. But the roughly 20 percent sliver of game players that refer to themselves as "gamers" (people who "describe themselves as a fan of gaming or a frequent game-player," according to the survey wording) looks very different from the larger world of game players and from those that don't play games at all.
Ars Technica said:
For instance, men and women are almost equally likely to play games at all, according to the survey, with 50 percent of men and 48 percent of women saying they play. But men are much more likely to apply the "gamer" label to themselves: 15 percent of men versus 6 percent of women. That difference in self-identification may explain why 60 percent of all respondents thought most people who play video games are men, even though the survey's topline results don't really bear this out.
I always find this kind demographic information interesting, especially when we get into more specfics than "I played a video game in the last 30 days." The bit about perception vs reality of the demographics particularly sticks with me as something that's talked about on this board so frequently.

Edit: There's quite a bit of other interesting data in here, like perception of how games treat minorities and women.

 

Mesoian

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Mar 23, 2012
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Does this actually mean anything other than that there remains a stigma associated with the "gamer" label?
Not really, other than most publishers excuses for avoiding marketing and developing games towards women continues to be bullshit.

HOWEVER, I would like to see a breakdown of the gaming demographic due to money spent monthly an annually. 20,50,100,500,1000, 1000+. I would take a pretty good guess that the 500+ slots would be male dominated, and those are the people that most publishers are targeting due to late 90's - early aughts marketing mentalities, the same mentalities that put Turner in a major lurch with it's children focused divisions.
 

silvermember

Banned
Feb 16, 2014
2,502
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Does this actually mean anything other than that there remains a stigma associated with the "gamer" label?
It means publishers should realize that they are leaving a lot of money on the table by not catering to women as well.

It also explains why there is a perceived notion that women don't play games. After all, women are 2 times less vocal than male about their self indication of being a gamer.

Hopefully, it means bad stereotypes like the fake GGirl is going to die soon, but I doubt it. I mean anecdotal evidence tends to hold more value than statistics in these parts.
 

g11

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Jun 17, 2014
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That difference in self-identification may explain why 60 percent of all respondents thought most people who play video games are men, even though the survey's topline results don't really bear this out.
Actually, it does bear that out, just to an insignificant margin.

As for the identifying oneself as a "gamer", it's probably in line with how much stigma that term carriers within each demographic. It's most stigmatized amongst women, then amongst white males, followed by black males, with the word carrying the least stigma amongst hispanic males. Makes sense to me. Most women I know that do play games don't consider themselves a gamer because "I don't play all that often", and I think with males there's varying degrees of shame that goes along with that term, especially as you get older.
 

silvermember

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Feb 16, 2014
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Well no wonder GAF doesn't want to be associated with the word 'gamer'.
Why is that? I don't like inferring stuff. So explain like I am 5.

Actually, it does bear that out, just to an insignificant margin.

As for the identifying oneself as a "gamer", it's probably in line with how much stigma that term carriers within each demographic. It's most stigmatized amongst women, then amongst white males, followed by black males, with the word carrying the least stigma amongst hispanic males. Makes sense to me. Most women I know that do play games don't consider themselves a gamer because "I don't play all that often", and I think with males there's varying degrees of shame that goes along with that term, especially as you get older.
Or maybe someone believe they are more than simply a hobby. They don't define themselves through an insignificant aspect of who there are.
 

Gaz_RB

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Apr 1, 2013
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Just going by my own personal anecdotes, this research definitely lines up for me. Most of the more hardcore gamers I've met and befriended online haven't been white.
 

Anung

Un Rama
Nov 13, 2013
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I just play games. I need a fresh new term that encapsulates what I'm all about.

Play Games....Plagames....Plagues?

I'm a plague?
 

Crimson_1ce

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Jun 27, 2015
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Professed proof that market flooded by casuals who 10 years ago would never have touched a video game, or made fun of someone that did.

And indirect proof that the market reflects it.

...sigh

It also really confuses me how someone could be on, especially have an account on a site like this and not identify as a 'gamer'. Like...you have no other hobbies? Why are you even...eh, people, huh?
 
Oct 9, 2013
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Why is that? I don't like inferring stuff. So explain like I am 5.
White GAF knows these 'gamers' aren't no angels. We just need to build a wall with red-ringed 360s to keep them out.
#Trump2016
I was trying to be a smart asshole (emphasis on try) referencing how GAF doesn't like the word 'gamer' with this new data, how minority men identify as 'gamers'. Pay me no mind ;)
 

nib95

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Feb 26, 2007
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Well no wonder proper, fancy GAF doesn't want to be associated with the word 'gamer'.
I have in the past often referred to myself as gamer, and I'd say I was pretty proper and fancy lol. It's more because I want to change the stereo type about 'gamers', so if I am in a social environment where I'm flirting or talking or whatever else, if I do ever slip in the descriptor, it's usually well beyond the point of the conversation where it could be seen as a negative.

P.S, I'm non white. South Asian, brown.
 
Oct 18, 2013
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Somewhat surprising that non-white males identified with the term more strongly.

There was a thread a while back asking GAF if they identified as gamer, people seemed to get upset that some didn't care for the term. I seem to remember accusations of shame and regret were a huge part of it.

I wonder if this discussion will turn out similarly.
 

Wulfram

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Oct 9, 2014
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"Some people use the term “gamer” to describe themselves as a fan of gaming or a
frequent game-player. Do you think the term “gamer” describes you well, or not?"

A lot of people would simply answer this question based on whether they play frequently, I suspect. If you just play something on your phone when you're waiting, then why would you answer "yes" to it?
 
Dec 1, 2014
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Can't really deny this TBH especially where I live, most of my gamer friends are Hispanic. We all own ps4s with a few xbox ones between us, but we always make sure to have someone bring their Wii-U and just play Smash Bros or endless hours.
 
Oct 9, 2013
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Where my Asians at though?
I have no idea. Don't we play alot of MMOs though?
I have in the past often referred to myself as gamer, and I'd say I was pretty proper and fancy lol. It's more because I want to change the stereo type about 'gamers', so if I am in a social environment where I'm flirting or talking or whatever else, if I do ever slip in the descriptor, it's usually well beyond the point of the conversation where it could be seen as a negative.

P.S, I'm non white. South Asian, brown.
Well, ever since (The hashtag that shall not be named, Fuck 'em) :/

Plenty of people identify as nerdy though. Whovians or Trekkies or, ugh, Big Bang Theory fans all around me with their 'indie' geek shirts at my school.
Guilty as charged for me too :p
 

PSqueak

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Hopefully this means the trend of "white midle aged brown haired male" protagonist will at least shift to "non white".
 

ShinMaruku

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Does this actually mean anything other than that there remains a stigma associated with the "gamer" label?
Nah. More info though. Only problem will come is the people who make decisisions misreading the data.
 

Giever

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But the roughly 20 percent sliver of game players that refer to themselves as "gamers" (people who "describe themselves as a fan of gaming or a frequent game-player," according to the survey wording) looks very different from the larger world of game players and from those that don't play games at all.
This part confuses me. Was the study actually asking people if they consider themselves "gamers" or were they asking them if they would "describe themselves as a fan of gaming or a frequent game-player" and then the researchers used the term 'gamer' as short-hand for referring to that group in the study itself?

What were people actually being asked?
 

User 73706

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I'm willing to bet gamers of color generally aren't as prone to falling into all of the echo chamber sort of shit "real gamer" communities feed into, and by proxy of that there not being as big of a stigma surrounding it.

That being said, the 18-35 straight white male gaming community probably view themselves to be "too good" to be mere "gamers," etc etc. Probably play dumb about video games at parties and shit, too.
 

silvermember

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Feb 16, 2014
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This part confuses me. Was the study actually asking people if they consider themselves "gamers" or were they asking them if they would "describe themselves as a fan of gaming or a frequent game-player" and then the researchers used the term 'gamer' as short-hand for referring to that group in the study itself?

What were people actually being asked?
They were asked: Do you play video games? yes or no. (not exact answers provided).

Then those who answered yes, were asked: Do you consider yourself a gamer? Yes or no (not exact the answer pew research provided)

Of the people who answered yes to the first question: only 20% of the total considered themselves gamers?

Of that 20%: 15% where male and 6% were female.
 

Mass_Pincup

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Feb 25, 2014
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Am I reading that wrong or does it say that black and hispanic are more likely to call themselves "gamers" and not that they're actually more black and hispanic people who call themselves "gamers"?
 

Giolon

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This part confuses me. Was the study actually asking people if they consider themselves "gamers" or were they asking them if they would "describe themselves as a fan of gaming or a frequent game-player" and then the researchers used the term 'gamer' as short-hand for referring to that group in the study itself?

What were people actually being asked?
Fortunately, because Pew is a legitimate research company, you can go right on through the article to their site to see the questions and responses in the survey:

Pew said:
Some people use the term “gamer” to describe themselves as a fan of gaming or a frequent game-player. Do you think the term “gamer” describes you well, or not?

  • Yes, gamer
  • No, not gamer
  • Don’t know
  • Refused (presumably no answer?)
 

Mesoian

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Seem to be making more money than the console stuff though.
Through whales. Gotta remember that even devs making millions of dollars a day on mobile are doing so based off of 1% of their user base.

Again, if someone did a breakdown like the one I outlined earlier, I bet we'd see that the people who spending the lionsshare of games are all male, and likely white.
 

bennywhatever

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Feb 15, 2014
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I'm wondering if Hispanic is so high due to the nature of language. They might think "Gamer" and "Plays Games" is the exact same thing.
I could also be stereotyping really hard right now, so if so I apologize.
 

Par Score

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Dec 6, 2014
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Heartening to see that "gamer" is such a minority self-appellation. I can only hope it's on a downward trend to extinction.
 

True Fire

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Hopefully this means the trend of "white midle aged brown haired male" protagonist will at least shift to "non white".
It won't due to subconscious oppression of minorities and lack of diversity in the industry.

Gamers could be 90% non-white and protagonists will still be exclusively white.
 

silvermember

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Feb 16, 2014
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What's with all you gamers not wanting to be called gamers?
Most people don't like to SELF-identity as gamers. A lot of people have come to realize they are MORE than a hobby. I mean if someone wants to call me for example, a gamer they can. Of course they would be wrong (since ironically I hve more time at work in a week than I spend playing video games).
 

PHOENIXZERO

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I don't like to associate myself with the term because of all the stereotypes that come with it and also those who fulfill those stereotypes, especially over the last 10-15 years.