When you think about ‘gamers’, pretty unpleasant stereotypes usually pop to mind. You’ll likely think about young kids without many friends, spending countless hours of the day and night in front of their computer, or perhaps 30 year old men still living in their parents basement or something. However, a new study has shown that gamers tend to be more social and well educated.
This new study was based on survey by LifeCourse Associates for the gaming streaming site Twitch, and the findings were surprising from the start. Gamers were shown to have family as their top priority, significantly more so than non-gamers (82% vs 68%). The trend continues to friends (57% vs 35%), and to top it off, gamers also tend to be more educated: 43% of them go to college, compared to 36% for non gamers. Children of educated parents also tend to play computer games more.
But while interesting, these results are not really that surprising. What is surprising however is that gamers are more social than you would expect – as a matter of fact, they are more social than non gamers! Socially-speaking, gamers are much more likely to value personally making a positive impact on society (76% vs 55%), they are more inclined to buy from companies which they believe make more of a positive impact, and generally feel better about their aspirations.
“Gamers express far more confidence about their abilities and prospects for future success, and are more upbeat about their career aspirations: While 67% of gamers feel “very positive” or “positive” in this regard, only 42% of non-gamerssay the same.”, the study reads
As for the jobless stay with his parents gamer stereotype, you might as well wipe that from your brain.
“Gamers are slightly more likely to be employed full-time than non-gamers (42% vs. 39%). They’re also more likely to say that they’re working in the career that they want to be in (45% vs. 37%).”
Let’s just make one thing clear: nobody is encouraging excessive gaming. Nobody wants to say “It’s good to play computer games, just do that all day and everything will be alright”; no, nothing of the sort. However, it’s high time we start accepting the fact that computer games have significant benefits. It’s been shown that gamers see more than the average human, that playing video games improves strategic planning, spatial orientation and memory formation, and generally speaking, gaming is associated with brain tickening. Surveys like this one just confirm previous studies – though I really didn’t like the fact that they didn’t correct for socioeconomic factors, that might have a big impact on the results.
Andrei's background is in geophysics, and he's been fascinated by it ever since he was a child. Feeling that there is a gap between scientists and the general audience, he started ZME Science -- and the results are what you see today.