The image that comes
to mind upon hearing the word, “gamer,” is undergoing a thorough
transformation, both in popular culture and statistical circles. The stereotype
of a reclusive, overweight man in his mid-twenties does neither holds up most
people’s personal experience nor the results of demographic studies of those
who play PC games.
The average PC gamer
, it turns out, is a 25-year-old female, outnumbering her male
counterparts in playing all but the most hardcore games. In fact, more women
are playing casual and hardcore online PC games than watch soap operas. When
looked at closely, the numbers actually show that 40 percent of gamers are over
35, and most of them have been playing for more than a decade. Facts like that
reveal a much more mature, discerning media consumer than popular knowledge had
The myth of the
overweight gamer is similarly under transformation. The more hours per week a
gamer plays, the more likely they are to be physically active, with a body mass
index (BMI) below the national average. To be sure, some gamers might be known
for their sedentary lifestyle, but the shift in numbers shows that more
physically active people are turning to games for entertainment.
studies have come out in recent years, revealing contradictory results on the
question of PC gaming’s mental health effects. But players appear not to be the
social recluses they are made out to be. The rise of social PC games and online
multiplayer options mean that games are not a solitary experience anymore, and
as women become more engaged, couples are increasingly gaming together.
Those who play PC
games are actually more likely to be engaged in activities and social
engagements outside their virtual worlds. Gamers are also more likely than the
general public to be staying up-to-date on current events and engaging in
creative pursuits like writing or playing an instrument. They are also much
more likely to vote.
shift in the gaming community is not because PC gamers are changing; it’s
because so many more people are turning to games for entertainment. Installing
and troubleshooting games is not as commonplace as it used to be. Some novice gamers
do sometimes pick games that their computers cannot power. But with so many gaming computers
available, hardcore gaming is not just for people who can build their own
Just read the
comments on any blog or news item on geek demographics. Players from across the
age and gender spectrum will inevitably charm in. As more people join in, and
the stigma continues to fade, PC gaming will be just another hobby.