PS3 News: Dear ESA, We're Going To Need You To Define "Gamer" - PS3 News

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Dear ESA, We're Going To Need You To Define "Gamer"

For a while now, I've been reading the latest ESA results and wondering what they actually mean.

It's all sorts of interesting to say that 47% of all "gamers" are female (which, as all the avid gamers know, absolutely is not true), and that the average age of a "gamer" is 30 (which probably is true). Such numbers promote intriguing discussion. I'll go with that.

But until we get an operational definition for the term "gamer," we can't draw any conclusions from those statistics, now can we? What's the definition? Is it someone who spends a certain amount? Plays a certain amount of time? Or merely someone who, if asked, goes, "yeah, I'm a gamer"? Someone who plays a few games on Facebook or their mobile phone while waiting for a bus isn't a "gamer." That's like saying I'm a race car driver because I drove to the store yesterday.

I know the ESA wants to prove to everyone that gaming is mainstream and that it doesn't cater specifically to males anymore, and that the industry is quite obviously getting more popular with time. But if you hang around GameStop all day, you'll know the numbers are skewed. You'll know that in truth, although I am well aware that more women are playing than ever before, this is still a hobby dominated by males. So until we can understand how the ESA defined "gamer" before racking up these stats, I don't think we can say anything definitive.

Bottom line: Use common sense. Go online with a mic. Pick most any game.  Tell me what percentage of voices you hear are male. Go on any game forum or community anywhere online. See how many women are on there. GameFAQs did a poll recently asking if you were male or female, and I believe the end result was 95% male. As much as I'd love to see more women playing games on an avid basis, it just isn't happening that often.

Tags: esa, game industry, esa stats, video games, gamers

8/1/2012 12:25:44 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (17 posts)

LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, August 01, 2012 @ 12:44:06 PM
Reply

In my golden years of gaming I enjoyed fooling others into thinking I was a girl during multiplayer. Oh the joys of online gaming in the late 90s.

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Neo_Aeon666
Wednesday, August 01, 2012 @ 1:00:36 PM

LOL yeah! Best place to do so is in an MMORPG. Dood the free gear you get is just astounding.

Me and my buddy took some random Asian girls pictures from google... A little photoshop... Fake e-mail and tadaaa we had a whole WoW guild at our feet XD XD Though we had to stop this when one of the guys fell in love with my friend and wanted to webcam LOL. I think he didn't like what he saw LOL.

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xenris
Wednesday, August 01, 2012 @ 4:49:00 PM

I had a boyfriend in Florida as one of my Everquest female characters.....For all I know that boy was a 30 year old women from Michigan. But still I fooled a good number of people. Or my friend would pretend to be a girl and we would trick people into items and the so called white knights would defend me from harassing my friends female character.....oh the good old days.

I dont do it anymore I like to just troll by being better than people in the game we are playing :P

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La_Bete12
Wednesday, August 01, 2012 @ 8:21:17 PM

my username on PSN is rachelee1989 because I made a mistake and I didn't wanna bother creating a new one because I wanted to keep everything on one account. You don't know how awkward that was online gaming...I didn't have a mike at first so guys were like "hey hun, how you doin'" and then I put on chat "I'm a dude" and there's this awkward silence for like 15 minutes. It's classic xD

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Neo_Aeon666
Wednesday, August 01, 2012 @ 12:55:27 PM
Reply

Yeah you are right Ben. 47% is totally false lol. On a daily basis, for around 30 male customers I get 1 or 2 girls. I did notice that I see them more often (girl gamers) but nowhere near 47% XD.

I guess a gamer should be considered one if gaming is his main hobby or one of his main hobbies.

Then we could also do like in Korea and offer real PRO gamer licenses for competitions lolll

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Raze22
Wednesday, August 01, 2012 @ 1:48:23 PM
Reply

Just as long as you play any thing that is considered to be a "video game" once in a while. Which could range from several times a day to once a year. Then yes that does make you a gamer. Social games are considered to be video games. Their statistics are accurate.

Now if your talking about a core gamer or any of the other type of gamers. Then yes they are wrong. Lets not focus on changing the word gamer because that term is accurate, but we need to start realizing the different type of gamers.

I think it is fair to say the subtype of gamers are mostly composed of mmo gamers, casual gamers, retro gamers, core gamers, hardcore gamers, and then pro gamers. It can still be even more diverse than this because we all have our machine and genre of choice.

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Neo_Aeon666
Wednesday, August 01, 2012 @ 3:11:05 PM

mmm to me that's how it is:

- Occasionnal/social gamer

- Gamer

- Hardcore/Pro gamer (people who do only that OR are paid to do so)

*Social games are considered to be video games.* Yeah and like Ben said, he drives a car and it does not make him a race car driver.

I think in your post you kind of know yourself that there is a difference between occasionnal/social gamers and *Gamers* . The fact that you play a game once in a while does not make you a gamer. It has to be one of your main hobbies. If not, then maybe you like gaming once in a while but you are no gamer.

Last edited by Neo_Aeon666 on 8/1/2012 3:12:37 PM

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Raze22
Wednesday, August 01, 2012 @ 5:35:41 PM

"Ben said, he drives a car and it does not make him a race car driver."
Of course he isn't because he would have to meet the requirements to be one. Just like in order to be considered a pro gamer you need to at least be able to make a living off of beating people in tournaments and competitions.

The Occasional/social gamer meet the requirements to be in that subtype and which in turns makes them a gamer.

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Rogueagent01
Wednesday, August 01, 2012 @ 9:24:26 PM

Coffeya I completely agree with you. The term gamer is very open to interpretation and as long as you use the broad definition then the 47% is not that inaccurate. If you want to use an elitist definition then yes the number is much lower. The problem to me with a lot of gamers nowadays is the fact that many like to try and classify what someone must do to be a gamer, and that is just plain wrong.

For me my mom is a gamer. She only plays Mahjong and some Facebook type games but she'll play them for 8 straight hours everyday. And yeah that is more time invested in gaming that what many of use on here probably do. But what because she doesn't own a console or plays "real" PC games she isn't a gamer, grow up and get with the times people. Gamers aren't a small niche thing anymore and they never will be again.

To me gamer has always meant someone who enjoys playing games. To me there is no restrictions on the title because you don't put enough time into them, nor simply because of the devices you own(i.e. PC, smartphone, console), in fact I consider people that play TableTop games to be just as much gamers as those that play Videogames, but hey that is just my definition.

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Neo_Aeon666
Wednesday, August 01, 2012 @ 10:43:05 PM

But no. The term Gamer is not just some PUT EM ALL IN category.

An occasional gamer is not a gamer.

Gamer is like... The middle rank.

Take it like *Normal* difficulty lol.

You have to understand an occasional gamer is an occasional gamer. END.

I do get your point of *we are all equal because we all like games to a certain extent* BUT we need to categorize this. It is not fair to label someone who merely plays a bit of angrybirds on the train the same as the one who spends all his free time on this. Certainly you get what I am saying?

Wouldn't it be unfair to let's say: Ballerinas! lol if I were to be called a Ballerina just because once a month when I am drunk I start dancing and spinning? All the hard work they pour in for that *title* of ballerina is laughed upon and diminished to the point a drunkard could get it?

See what I mean?

A GAMER is not a mere global term. It's a respective level one has to reach.

Same reason a Wizard has an Apprentice. That Apprentice is no Wizard just because he can weave a few spells.

You are a gamer once gaming has enough importance for it to take the majority of your free time and you like to talk about it. Otherwise you just *like to play games sometimes* but are no GAMER.

Last edited by Neo_Aeon666 on 8/1/2012 10:54:45 PM

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Neo_Aeon666
Wednesday, August 01, 2012 @ 11:01:48 PM

I could even add:

I play Soccer, BasketBall, Baseball and Badminton occasionally... Does that make me a BasketBall (or any of the above) player?

no!

So why would someone who plays a little game once in a while be labeled a GAMER. It's the same thing! Gaming is even considered a sport in Korea. Hope I can open your eyes with this comparison lol.

Last edited by Neo_Aeon666 on 8/1/2012 11:03:06 PM

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Rogueagent01
Thursday, August 02, 2012 @ 12:02:45 AM

Actually yes it does make you a basketball player, and with the ballerina one, no I don't see what you mean...It makes no sense as it has no comparison to gaming.

If you would have at least gone the professional route I would have kinda agreed with you, but seeing as we are talking about gamers and not professional that isn't necessary.

And though I hate using the business route in any discussion, I will bet that those devs and pubs that make iOS and Android type games call their customers gamers.

The only categories necessary would be casual, heavy, and pro all of which are still gamers plain and simple. I refuse to even use the term hardcore in there simply because everyones defintion would be different. People have really gone to great extremes to try and give the term "gamer" a higher level definition that it doesn't need.

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Neo_Aeon666
Thursday, August 02, 2012 @ 6:37:26 PM

Geh I guess only god will be able to clear this one up.

You simply put anyone who ever plays games in the *gamer* category.

And I think *Gamer* itself is a title earned by people who actually really play games as their favorite (or almost) hobby.

I don't think neither are wrong. I do prefer my own view and I bet you prefer yours lol. We have to have a higher being make the choice.

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Raze22
Thursday, August 02, 2012 @ 7:25:36 PM

No not really, we could go by fact and just go by its' definition. The categories/subtypes are obviously opinions to a degree. This can go for any hobby really. So no need for a god on this one =)

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xenris
Wednesday, August 01, 2012 @ 4:52:53 PM
Reply

I think they got this number by looking at all the single women with Wiis in there house.

Seriously Ben said it right when he said put on a mic and how many people are guys versus girls.

I do know there are some games that have a large female fan base, Left 4 dead does, as well as TF2. I think games that are teamwork focused or more of a social experience draw female gamers in more. But no way in those two games do the female gamers make up 40% of the population.

I will say that a poll on gamefaqs isn't really accurate either though. All my friends who are girls who also game, don't even know what forums are or if they do they don't post on them or really care about that. They just game and thats that. I think males are much more vocal and do the whole forums, message boards, and fan sites thing. Girl gamers at least in my experience not so much.

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matt99
Wednesday, August 01, 2012 @ 8:12:31 PM
Reply

I agree that 47% doesn't make sense, however I don't think putting a mic on and seeing how many voices are male is a very good indication of how many males/females are playing as I know quite a few girls who never use mics because if they do they are constantly harassed by the many immature male gamers found online.

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___________
Thursday, August 02, 2012 @ 5:18:22 AM
Reply

right, so by your definition if your not on game forums and dont play online your not a gamer?
come on dude some common sense!
pretty obvious the poll they would of asked, just a simple do you play games?
and if the person answered yes than there putting them into the category of gamer which is fair enough.

actually really funny, im currently holding interviews were looking for a new systems analyst ATM and out of all the applicants so far its only been up 2 days and so far we have had 11 people come in.
8 out of 11 were girls, hows that stereotypes for ya!?
even better 6 out of 8 listed games as a hobby and elaborated on it saying they spend 2 hours or so a day playing them.
out of the guys only 1 out of 3 said they play games!
no, wait it still gets better.
out of the 3 guys how many do you think actually took care of the hardware themselves?
all?
nope, NONE!
how many of the girls did that?
5!
hell even a old friend of mine from school has tracked herself down a old arcade unit, built a new chasis for it and upgraded it to scratch so its now looking brand spanking new and playing over 500 arcade games!
how many guys do you see doing that!?

NOTHING pisses me off more than when people refuse to let go of stereotypes!
its not 1927 any more, get with the times and get over it!!!!!!!!!

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