Study: Half of American adults play video games, 10% call themselves gamers


41% say some games portray women poorly

A new study by Pew Research Center presents data on American adults' views of video games, their impact, and the term gamer.

The study found that while 49 percent of all American adults play video games, only 10 percent of those identify themselves as gamers. 60 percent of participants believe video games are mostly played by men, while a nearly identical share of men and women report playing games (48 percent of women; 50 percent of men). Men are twice as likely as women to call themselves gamers.

Apparently there are still a lot of people who think violence in video games is related directly to violent behavior in real life, as four in ten adults said they believe that. While that isn't the majority, it is still a surprising number.

When asked if video games portray women poorly, 41 percent of adults answered that was true for some games, while 14 percent said it was true for most games. When asked about the poor portrayal of minorities in games, the numbers are a lot lower with 9 percent saying most games do a poor job, and 20 percent saying only some games have issues with the proper portrayal of minorities.

Unsurprisingly, the study found that people who play games think more positively of them and are likely to disagree with negative portrayals of video games and gamers.

As with any of these studies, nothing is written in stone or proof of anything other than statistics of what a small selection of people answered in a survey. This particular study had a sample of 2,001 adults 18 years or older and was conducted via telephone; 1,300 on cellphones and 701 on landlines. Respondents in the landline sample were selected by randomly asking for the youngest adult male or female who was at home. Interviews in the cell phone sample were conducted with the person who answered the phone if that person was 18 or older.

My take? Not that surprising, video games have become just another form of media a majority of us take in that we don't feel the need to label ourselves after. I don't know too many people who call themselves readers or movie watchers, though occasionally I'll hear people call themselves movie buffs. I feel like that is the kind of person who would self-identify as a gamer -- someone who plays a lot of games often to the point that it is a major part of their life.

Gaming and Gamers [Pew Research Center]

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Jed Whitaker
Jed Whitaker   gamer profile



Filed under... #General - Opinion/Editorial #Science



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