The Average Gamer

Blog Banter: Biggest Stereotype About Gamers

Welcome to the 4rd instalment of Blog Banter, the monthly blogging extravaganza headed by bs angel. Blog Banter involves a cosy community of enthusiastic gaming bloggers, a common topic, and a week to post articles pertaining to said topic. The results are quite entertaining and can range from deep insight to ROFLMAO. If you are interested in participating, contact bs angel for more information. Check out other Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post.

We thought it was a phase that you’d grow out of.” Sound familiar? Well, these are the words spoken to me by my parents when discussing the topic of videogames. Grow out of what exactly? What’s wrong with playing videogames for the rest of my life, they aren’t just for kids you know?

When Christmas 1984 came around my parents bought a BBC Model B Microcomputer for my older brother. Didn’t make much difference whose it was as I took to it like a fish to water. Little did they know what they had started. My journey into the world of videogames had begun. Yay for parents.

Now fast forward 23 Christmases (yuk, I feel old now). There I was sitting in my parent’s living room playing Sonic and Mario at the Olympic Games on the Nintendo Wii with my girlfriend. The rest of my family were sitting on the adjacent sofa looking distinctly disinterested in my rabid wiimote flailing and even turned their collective noses up at Wii Sports (but it was made for old people). The overriding feeling was that adults should be playing with children’s toys at their age, unless it’s with another child. Then it’s all ok, as you’re playing WITH the child and not acting AS a child.
Old people playing Wii

Even in 2007, when the games industry officially overtook the music industry in terms of overall revenue, the sight of an adult playing videogames is still viewed as fairly childish behaviour by a large section of society. Sure there are plenty of children playing videogames. You only have to spend some time on-line using Xbox LIVE to witness many, many teenagers communicating via a mixture of swear words and grunting. However, these teenagers only account for 28.2% of gamers. 47.6% of gamers are aged 18-49 with the remaining 24.2% aged 50+ according to a recent report by Entertainment Software Association (ESA).
Xbox 360 Teenager
Now that I’ve been playing videogames for 23 years now, I’m the average gamer (33 years old). From Elite on the BBC Model B to Army of Two on the Xbox 360 (mmm, not a great game but the most recent one I’ve played) I’ve enjoyed every minute. So that makes me a gamer and an adult. I must be very childish then? Err no, in fact for many aspects of my professional life playing videogames has actually helped me in performing medical procedures (e.g. endoscopy or colonoscopy) as they have developed my hand to eye coordination.

We need to get over the fact that videogames aren’t just for children. Now more than ever they are played by adults, like me, who aren’t your stereotypical gamer (long hair, poor social skills and personal hygiene). If only the rest of society, in particular politicians, would start behaving like adults towards the games industry and the gamers themselves, we could start making some progress. Or maybe I should give up on that idea and go binge drinking down the pub and start smoking in order to be treated like a “grown up” adult in today’s screwed up society.

Check out these other Blog Banter articles: The Average Gamer, Silvercublogger, shinybento, Unfettered Blather, Boom Stick Brigade, Gamer Unit, Zath!, Man Bytes Blog, Game Couch, Video Game Sandwich, Delayed Responsibility, thoughts and rants, Hawty McBloggy


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  2. Pingback: Blog Banter: A Stereotypical Gamer

  3. Pingback: Unfettered Blather » Blog Archive » Blog Banter - How does this apply to me?

  4. Pingback: Blog Banter: Gamer Stereotypes « Delayed Responsibility

  5. Jason O

    27th Mar, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    Here’s a fun thought.

    Every game I was introduced to when I first started playing was something introduced to me by my father.

    Space Invaders at the arcade? Dad. Chopper Command on the Apple IIe? Dad. Jumpman on the IBM PS/2? Dad again.

    Between my father, myself, and my boys we represent every generation of gamer. It’s hard for me to believe that videogames are for kids when my own father was the one playing them. This is a stereotype so mired in non-fact that I can’t figure how it so doggedly sticks around.

    Thanks for the statistics and the source BTW.

  6. Pingback: Blog Banter: Gamer Stereotypes | Video Game Sandwich

  7. BSB Belpers

    27th Mar, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    I love the stats… I’m glad you posted them and did all the work for us! I knew I should have waited to post my blog.

    This makes about 4 of these Blog Banter’s I’ve read that have been posted by 30 somethings! Awesome! We must have really good jobs to have this kind of time on our hands.

  8. bs angel

    27th Mar, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    First and foremost, I would like to point out that I am younger than the average gamer (only by two years but whatever!). LOL, …

    My thoughts mirror Jason’s. I was also introduced to the world of gaming by my father. We always had the latest gaming console starting with Atari and absolutely nothing has changed since then. My father still games as a matter of fact. He is in his 50s and loves Forza and even dabbles in Halo. He was so excited when Microsoft released their force feedback wheel!

    While I don’t encounter the sentiments you discuss in your article from my family, it is certainly there from the general public. And look what Belpers pointed out, many of us participating in this series are in our 30s. It’s awesome. :)

  9. Pingback: Blog Banter: Where’s the Harm? : Man Bytes Blog

  10. Silvercube

    27th Mar, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    Good article!

    Yeah.. I loved the last paragraph. Politicians are really crazy! :)

  11. Pingback: Blog Banter [#4] Am I A Gamer? « Silvercublogger

  12. hoho

    28th Mar, 2008 at 12:20 am

    hand – eye coordination eh? one word , CRICKET!!! haahaha

  13. Lou

    28th Mar, 2008 at 10:30 am

    Those days of gamers as children are long behind us now, it seems. Most games released are created with adults in mind; kids play them, sure, but they’re created for us. It seems to be the people outside of gaming who don’t understand it that have this strong idea we’re all being childish. Like the people on the news who highlight a game’s terrible content, and then shy away from presenting an informed argument as to why it’s so bad. “Kids play it! It’s bad!” Kids aren’t meant to play it, stupid. Be a better parent and quit passing the blame…

    by the way, sorry about the paragraphs in my article. it wasn’t meant to be formatted like that. whenever i edit a post the lines just end up disappearing (which is an annoyance); it’s formatted as it should be now, anyway.

  14. Daniel Primed

    29th Mar, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    I agree, I enjoyed the last paragraph particularly.

    Society appears to have a bent perception of video games players which currently remains undefined. Its as though no one really knows who the average player is because there is so much variance. I guess this is why people have found it hard to suggest what the stereotypical gamer is. I myself too am unsure.

  15. Kitap Özetleri

    29th Mar, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    […] : The Average Gamer, Silvercublogger, shinybento, Unfettered Blather, Boom Stick Brigade, Gamer Unit, Zath!, Man Bytes […]

  16. Mr Butterscotch

    10th Apr, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    I’d like to think that the stereotype of the gamer has now died away, but then maybe it has just moved. By that, I mean instead of the ‘solitary geek’ playing on his Amiga, you have the image of a child or children playing on DS or a Wii.

    I’m in complete agreement with what The Fluffy Fist has to say. It is desperately time when the UK at least woke up to the idea that games are not just for kids. I don’t think we’d have as much controversy if there was more understanding and acceptance.

  17. Mark Bulletstorm

    31st Jan, 2011 at 3:51 am

    Great thanks for the stats, it seems like the average gamer stereotype is hard to define. But it’s always evolving as more people get into gaming and so some stereotypes will die and others will arise.