Friday, March 26, 2010

Totally Worthless Survey Shows: Gamers Get More Action than Non-gamers

I can take just a little bit of solace with a new study released by Giant Realm basically stating that gamers have moved out of their parent's basement and actually have some sort of social lives.

To sum up the survey quickly, 2700 men aged 18-34 found: 75% have at least one gaming console in their home; 57% are the first to be asked by family and friends about their opinion on new technology, movies, music, and TV; 67.4% have gone out with friends in the past week (as compared to 54.9% of non-gamers); gamers are more likely than non-gamers to take care of themselves, i.e. shower, shave, etc.; gamers are more likely to go to the gym - 28.1% to 22.1%; one-third of gamers have gone out on a date in the past week compared to a quarter of non-gamers - 35.6% to 25.1%.

What does this mean?  Geeks are cooler than non-geeks.  I knew it.  Now, why couldn't this of held true in the late 80's/early 90's.  My entire high school life would have been much different. I would have been the guy with the ladies, going to the gym and, well, showering instead of working through all 96 levels of Super Mario World in my parent's basement talking on a bulletin board service using a 2800 baud modem.

Sarcasm aside, this study actually finds that video games have become more mainstream than they were ten/fifteen years ago.  Games like Guitar Hero, Rock Band, and dozens of party games have made even the non-gamer a gamer.  Couple the non-gamer games with the introduction of the Wii and it made it cool to be a gamer (really Microsoft Word, you think I should have changed 'cool' to 'cools' in this sentence - great grammar check there Mr. English). 

The main question in my mind is, what is the need for this survey?  Is there really still a stereotypical view that people who play video games are pocket-protector wearing nerds who sit around with only other of society's geeky waste.  Anyone who has walked through a college dorm in the last fifteen years knows that video games are not only common, they are prevalent among students, both male and female.  Why would that end after college? 

Anyone born around the NES era of gaming and beyond more than likely grew up with at least one form of video game in their house.  If nothing else, at least a Game Boy probably floated through the home at some point.  For some, gaming may become a passion and for others, just an occasional fun thing to do on a Tuesday night.  Either way, the survey itself is skewed by the first question of 'do you have a video game console in your home' as most people do.  A 2008 study by the Electronic Software Association found that 65% of households have a video game console and that the average age of the gamer was 35 (which wouldn't have even been applicable for the Giant Realm survey). did their own study in 2008 and found that over 50% of adults play video games and 75% of 18-29 have a gaming console and 68% play on the computer.  In the end, this means more people in America play video games than don't.

The need for this survey is more of a slap in the face at gamers by having to announce to the world that gamers are regular people and not the two guys walking down the street with a huge wooden box of computer equipment being called 'Nerds' by Ogre and the rest of the fraternity.  Maybe I am wrong, did the stereotype of video game players come back from the 80's like the return of Ratt and Motley Crue?  Or did Giant Realm come up with a survey that would garner a ton of attention to get their brand out?  Glad I could contribute.

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