Understanding the Gaming Audience: Who Spends the Most Time Playing?
For years, video games have steadily grown in popularity. And the trend has only gotten more potent as the social advantages of video games have come to light. Gaming is more immersive and exciting than ever, thanks to high-definition graphics and online multiplayer features. But this deeper engagement also carries the risk of addiction, and those who are prone are not simply kids and teenagers.
So, what is the average gamer’s age? Who spends the most time gaming? While Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers play games differently, there are numerous parallels between them as well. According to a recent ExpressVPN survey, Millennial gamers are more dedicated to gaming than their Gen Z peers.
The study, which includes replies from 1,000 alleged gamers in the U.S. and 1,000 in the UK, shows that Millennials are more likely to play video games on a regular basis and for longer periods of time. In this article, we will discuss gaming audiences and habits in detail as per the survey reports.
Teenagers Spend Less Time Gaming Than Older Players
While it is a common assumption that teenagers play video games all day and night, the truth is somehow shocking. The study revealed that 68% of gamers in their 30s and 40s admit to playing video games every day. In comparison, 58% of gamers in their twenties regularly play video games.
Gen Zers were less likely than Millennials to admit to playing video games all day every week. Surprisingly, more gamers who are 46 to 55 years old admit to playing video games for longer than 24 hours at a time, although they are less likely than Millennials to play games every day.
Millennials (people currently in their late 20s to early 40s) interact with gaming in a variety of ways beyond actual gameplay. This involves watching video game-related content, discussing recent advances in public forums, listening to podcasts, and chatting with friends about video games.
Gamers Admit They Feel Addicted and Have No Control Over Their Gaming Habit
Video games are designed in a way that players feel accomplishment when they complete a mission. Most video games affect the brain in the same way as addictive drugs: they trigger the release of dopamine, a chemical that reinforces the behavior and gives feelings of pleasure and satisfaction. This dopamine release constantly provokes players to keep trying to tackle new challenges. Thus, players get addicted and start spending more time playing video games, and lose control over their gaming habits.
This negatively affects their everyday functioning, including personal, social, educational, and job duties. Although adults are more prone to suffer from this disorder, this addiction can also affect children and teens. 5% of Millennials admitted that they feel addicted to gaming compared with 3% of Gen Z.
The inability to focus on other tasks and thinking about video games even when you’re not playing them are two of the most typical symptoms of gaming addiction. Surprisingly, about 30% of gamers admitted that they always think about video games, and nearly half of them find games to be super fun and everything else boring. Shockingly, more than half of gamers admitted that they often continue to play video games even though they know it can severely impact their daily lives and health.
Researchers are still trying to pinpoint the precise reason behind internet and video game addiction as well as the addictive properties of video games. Although gaming addiction is not yet identified by the American Medical Association as a diagnosable disorder, video game addiction is a real problem. We see thousands of people get affected due to this every year. According to the University of New Mexico, recent studies suggest that 6% to 15% of all gamers show signs that could be described as an addiction.
Why are Millennials the Biggest Gamers?
Millennial gamers are the most powerful gaming audience today. Since they are the first generation to have grown up with gaming, they have developed a strong emotional bond and now spend more time and money gaming than any other generation. While Gen Z and Millennials are at the top of the heap in gaming participation, enjoyment, and consumption, Millennials are drawn back to the games they played as children and are investing more in the games that speak to their deeper motivations.
Additionally, Gen Z claimed they are less inclined than older gamers to play video games at night. Remarkably, 59% of millennials claim they continue to play video games despite knowing that doing so can interfere with their sleep or other duties. While this is likely due to millennials’ daytime work obligations pushing their hobbies to after hours, it is terrifying.
Gen Z, in comparison, was raised with mobile devices in their pockets and has never known life without the internet. For some, playing video games can just pass the time and temporarily escape reality. Moreover, millennials would also have more disposable income than their younger peers, who are either still in school or just starting their careers, to spend on their preferred entertainment.
Men are More Emotionally Invested in Gaming Than Women
Women and men are different. But sometimes, those disparities are caused by factors other than just biology. Instead, social bias is frequently to blame for them. The research team set out to investigate the disparity in video game development between men and women, motivated by the notion that men naturally thrive at video games more than women do.
Most of the female respondents admit that, despite already playing video games less frequently than men, they would like to cut back even more. Moreover, they claimed that women felt more guilty about playing video games in their free time compared to men.
Contrarily, the survey reveals that men frequently use video games to socialize and make new friends. In contrast to women, who claim they are more inclined to play video games for relaxation and entertainment, men are also more likely to seek a career in the gaming industry.
Video games are emotionally engaging. They put a drain on our brains and control our actions. Video game storylines are also often written with great emotional depth, with full and complex character development. That’s the reason gamers indulge themselves while playing.
However, there is a definite gender gap when it comes to the commitment of time and emotion. Compared to 49% of our female respondents, 72% of our male respondents said that gaming caused them to lose interest in the hobbies they once loved. Similarly, more men reported unhappiness, lethargy, and anxiety when they could not play their favorite games.
Retro Gaming is Still in Fashion
Even though gaming may be at its most developed point in history, many individuals still enjoy playing the originals that got it all began. Retro gaming has grown significantly in popularity in recent years thanks to the porting of older games to newer consoles, the re-release of vintage hardware, and the revival of old-school arcade features in social settings.
79% of respondents to the survey said they still play old video games. Well, this is not surprising for older gamers who grew up playing these games, it’s fascinating to see that Gen Z gamers are also fond of games from the 1980s and 1990s.
38% of respondents cited nostalgia as their primary reason for retro gaming. Other reasons include simpler storylines and less complexity compared to modern games.
Super Mario Bros. continues to be the most popular retro game closely followed by other classics like Pac-Man, Tetris, and Mario Kart.
Shooter Games are Dominating the Gaming Domain
Male gamers love to use gaming as a medium to connect with friends more than female gamers. More than 50% of respondents admitted they enjoy both single and multi-player video games while 40% of women said they would opt for single-player games.
Action-packed games have a huge market. Call of Duty is the most popular choice of game for women and men. Men also enjoy playing football-focused FIFA and action-packed God of War.
The Most Popular Games Among Men:
- Call of Duty – 71%
- FIFA – 56%
- God of War – 48%
The Most Popular Games Among Women:
- Call of Duty – 46%
- The Sims – 39%
- Minecraft – 33%
Most Popular Gaming Devices
Phones are the most popular gaming devices since they are powerful enough to allow us to play games without interruption. In fact, 70% of respondents said their preferred gaming device is their smartphone. However, that doesn’t mean that gaming on PCs and consoles has become obsolete.
A dedicated device typically has greater cooling, shoulder triggers, and even physically detachable controllers. Therefore, whether it’s Gen z or Millenials, mobile phones are frequently picked the most.