With gaming becoming a recreational pastime for more and more people from wider and wider demographics, the stereotypical mould of “Player One” has begun to change. Gone are the days where the pleasures of gaming were restricted to bedroom-dwelling, sun-lacking young men. Now gaming is proving that it truly has something for everyone.
With something out there for everyone and gamers becoming a wider and wider audience? Who to aim for for maximum success?
In my life and gaming circles at least, the elusive “girl-gamer” is a creature of almost mythic rarity, one looked upon with awe and disbelief, but according to a variety of sources and my most esteemed colleagues, they really DO exist. What portion of the gaming market they comprise of, however, may be a completely different matter. One that will be examined as the different demographics of the gaming population are dissected and scrutinised.
Contrary to my assumptions regarding female gamers as a rare group in a largely male-infested culture, female gamers make up almost half of the gaming population with 39% of gamers being women. And this is not the only misconception that has been destroyed through research! While gaming is often associated with kids and teenagers, the majority of gamers, with 65% of the market, are over 18 years old.
While it’s hard to argue that the gaming population is not a group as wide and diverse as any other, the games associated with each demographic make for interesting examination. The female gaming market, as a whole, are more prone to spend their time playing “casual” games. Following the same stereotypical pattern, male gamers are much more likely to play a sports or racing games.
A scene sure to coax screams of “Man on!” from the burly, sofa dwelling menfolk.
The key reason as to why games companies identify and investigate different demographics is so that they can better understand who they are making their games for and what varieties of techniques appeal to their applicable market. Currently, it appears that shooters are a guaranteed victory for developers with the likes of Halo 3, the Call of Duty games and Gears of War 2 making up the top 4 slots.
Infinity Ward proved that while the pen is mightier than the sword, the gun is mightier than either in the battle for game sales.
In these troubled and fraught times for the gaming industry, it appears that to gain massive commercial success, all that is needed is some form of gun and correct application of the right trigger button. But the real conclusion of all this is concerning the kinds of people who make up all of the millions of gamers out there. The mystical and mysterious face of ‘Player One’. The true answer is that due to the extent of the development of the marketplace for gaming, there is no longer a definable face of gaming. However there is one thing I do know: It’s time to get myself on the FPS bandwagon.
The face of Player One – an enduring mystery.