Facts about video gamers

Posted By: Virginia
Posted On: 04/28/11 08:31 PM

Author Photo: Virginia So you think your a gamer? Here are some interestingly facts you may not have known or even cared to have known about playing video games.

The average age of a gamer is 35 years old.
Although video games are forever evolving and changing those that play them are not. The origins of what I like to call generation marioites - individuals that were teenagers in the 90's. As marioites grew up, got jobs, and had families they never lost their passion for the box. As marioites age so to will the mean age of gamers. For example, in 1999 only 9% of Americans over 50 played video games in 2010 this number rose to 26%.
MSN, 2009
digitalmediawire, 2008

Gaming Industry is $ $ $

Who made the most money on the day of it's first release: The last book in the Harry Potter series?, The most recent Star Wars movie?, Or Halo 3?

Halo 3 dwarfed the returns of big-budget Hollywood films and a popular children' s books. In fact, US computer and video game software sales generated 10.5 billion in 2009, reflecting the over 76% of Americans that regularly play video games. Some accredit this growth to the increase in intricacy and art that game designers have put into the storylines over the years. Quote from game reviewer description of BioShock, for instance, stated "last year's sleeper hit, BioShock from 2K Games, a first-person shooter. The game's narrative and dystopian setting wove an argument about the relationship between power and freedom, ultimately building to a rejection of Ayn Rand's objectivist philosophy." Game reviews tell of abstract and methapocial meanings behind the game storyline something that one will not find in review of Twlight, for example, may be one reason for the rise of video games sales over all other media formats.
GameSpotting, 2007

More women over 18 are gamers then teenage boys

Did you know that 40% of all gamers are women.

In fact, women over the age of 18 represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (33%) compared to boys under the age of 17. (20%).
ESA, Industry Facts

Goldilocks Problems Makes Us Smarter
What is the perfect level of difficulty when designing a game? You make the game too easy and your players will easily get bored and low interest. You make a game too difficult and players become frustrated and stop playing. A good game gradually becomes more difficult as the player gains a greater skill set for dealing with the game. If you take a simple game like Tetris, you find that when a player first begins to play their brain will burn tons of glucose as it tries to figure out how all of the shapes work. The more the novice plays the game the more likely they will become an expert at the game. Becoming an expert Tetris player means barely breaks a cognitive sweat until the next challenge is presented (e.g., learning to play on the speeded levels). This process of learning- to expert- to learning may not only be vital in making a good game but also key in aiding in cognitive growth. The way gamers explore virtual worlds, for example, is identical to how the brain processes multiple, but interconnected, streams of information in the real world. "Basically, how we think is through running perceptual simulations in our heads that prepare us for the actions we're going to take," according to James Gee, a professor of learning sciences at the University of Wisconsin "By modeling those simulations, video games externalize how the mind works."
Wired, 2009
Physorg, 2009

Gamers can see ninja attacks before nongamers
Avid gamers according to a 2006 study at the University of Rochester are much better at localizing peripheral targets and tracking multiple moving objects in a visual field that has lots of distracting stimulus then non-avid gamers. What does this mean exactly, well if your ever at a circus and a mad bear in a jet propulsion suit begins flying around and shooting at the crowd you can be rest assured that the nongamers will go first.
Tasty Human, 10 Benefits of Playing Games

Gamers make better surgeons

A study of 303 laparoscopic surgeons (82% men, 8% women) at Beth Medical Center, New York found that surgeons that played first-person shooter games were significantly faster and more efficient then nongaming surgeons. Although more research is needed before requiring Call of Duty 101 in medical school it may be something to think about when deciding what kind of surgeon you want. Tasty Human, 10 Benefits of Playing Games

Video games make you feel good.

Scientists at East Carolina University found that causal gaming may not only improve player's mood by producing dopamine during game play but that these effects are also those suffering from high anxiety. Patients suffering with PST (post-traumatic stress disorder) that play reported less anxiety and a reduction in the number of flashbacks. Bottom line, if your feeling stressed or anxious, play a few hours of video games should be equal to a few hours of yoga or mediation. The caveat to this however is the it probably makes a great difference what game your playing and how well you are doing at that game and whether or not you have a good internet connection.
Tasty Human, 10 Benefits of Playing Games

Video Games influence Empathy - positively and negatively ?!?!

There is a lot of research demonstrating the positive effects of video games on emotional and cognitive development. According to Video Game Play and Addiction: A Guide for Parents states
"Age appropriate multiplayer video games can allow children to learn how other people think - a key aspect of empathy. Games can also help a child become more comfortable with new and ever progressing technology".

On the other hand, recent studies also indicate that teenagers and college students are significantly less emphatic then they were 30 years ago and many are attributing this change to violent video game usage. The relationship found between exposure to violent video games and increased aggression is a robust finding but the direction or cause of this relationship is not known. Other studies have found that violent games leads people to see more imagined hostility in their social environment. In some studies, for example, participants after playing x number of hours of aggressive game play were more likely to interpret facial expression of others as being aggressive then those that played other types of nonviolent games. The question remains, can these negative perceptions overtime snowball into an general lack of empathy in adults, can violent games create antisocial individuals?? Doubtful, I'd imagine the lack of empathy in teens today can be caused by a whole host of environmental issues such as technology and family environments and not so much from playing violent games. Just because a violent game may cause some to perceive more hostile threats in their environment does not mean that violent games should be banned. I imagine the same effect of hypervigilance can come after reading a Steven King novel.
GameSpot, Current Case