The digital gaming industry brought in an estimated $125.3 billion in revenue in 2018. Online gaming is no longer just a pastime, but its own culture, and for many, a way of life. Casual gamers can choose from a variety of game types and genres to connect with other like-minded individuals across the globe. Many gamers play professionally and competitively, with some even reaching levels of stardom.
We surveyed frequent online gamers to understand their habits, likes and dislikes, and explore their virtual lives. Check out the interesting (and surprising) insights into the online gaming community below.
The most common age among frequent gamers surveyed was 25-34, a.k.a millennials, encompassing 40 percent of the survey. While we don’t want to further stereotype, comparing millennial gamers to the other age groups has rendered some surprising results. Let’s take a look at common millennial clichés and see if the stats dispel them:
- “Millennials are always on their phone” – True, 94 percent of millennial respondents reported gaming on their phones compared to 88 percent of other age groups.
- “Millennials are poor” – Not true, if you use Fortnite spend as the barometer, 35 percent of millennials have spent more than $20 while playing, while only 25 percent of other age groups report spending at that level.
- “Millennials are introverted” – True, 39 percent of millennial respondents reported having skipped out on social events to play online games, compared to 25 percent of other age groups.
With platforms Twitch and YouTube, international gaming superstars have evolved into next level wealth and fame. The top ten streamers on Twitch reportedly earned over $20 million last year. Fortnite sensation ‘Ninja’ pulls in more than $560,000 per month. Armed with these figures as role models—not to mention #CareerGoals—we dove into gamer’s professional aspirations.
Our findings seem to indicate that those who have grown up in the digital age feel it’s more realistic to get paid to play online games. For ages 18-34, 63 percent of gamers express desire to turn their favorite pastime into a job. Gamers over the age of 35, however, seem to be slightly more realistic (or complacent with their current profession), with only 44 percent reporting how they wish they could pursue a professional career in online gaming.
Women, also seem less inclined to pursue gaming as a way to earn cash, with only 53 percent reporting interest in making it a job, compared to their male counterparts at 64 percent.
FEMALE VS. MALE GAMERS
Despite that video games have been traditionally seen as a male hobby, the tides have turned. There are reports that there are now equal, if not more, females in the gaming world. Our survey confirmed this, with 55 percent of participants identifying as female and only 45 percent as males.
Is luck a lady? Not quite! When asked if they’ve ever won anything from gaming, it was dead even—47 percent of both men and women report that they’ve won rewards or prizes.
Lady-gamers seem to enjoy winning more than any other parts of gaming, and more so than men. When asked about their favorite aspect of online gaming, 63 percent of women said winning, while only 54 percent of men reported the same.
As far as male gaming motivation, guys are more interested in making friends or having some quality bro-time. More men answered that their favorite part of gaming was either building relationships or the feeling of community.
GAMING AND PRODUCTIVITY
Gaming has often been seen as a way to procrastinate or as a distraction from other activities. However, a recent report from BBC has shown that gaming might actually make individuals more productive, in small doses.
“Psychologists, along with the gamers themselves, say the benefits go beyond fun or amusement,” says Alina Dizik of BBC. “Many people use gaming to find moments of stress relief throughout the workday, to cope with a boring role or as a way to feel more in control. Unlike scrolling Facebook or browsing online, the games are fully engaging and even give us the kind of virtual confidence boost that we might not achieve in our day-to-day work.”
Our survey participants definitely seem to believe that gaming fosters productivity, 54 percent of participants have played online games at work, 15 percent have played at school, and 14 percent have played at both work and school.
Fortnite is a global phenomenon — it racked up 125 million players in less than a year after launch. In our survey, we explored the mindset of avid Fortniters.
More men (41 percent), than women (30 percent) said that Fortnite was their favorite game. For Fortnite enthusiasts, the game is a serious activity. More than half of Fortnite players have met a significant other or close friend while playing the game. But with that said, their favorite part of the game is the competition.
Forniters are willing to spend money on the games. The most current season is reportedly earning $2.5 million per day, Our survey showed 51 percent of frequent players have paid more than $20 to enhance their player’s appearance. (Note that spending money doesn’t mean you’ll have an advantage while playing, it just levels up your aesthetics). Fortniters are also in it to win it, 54 percent have reportedly won prizes or money from the game.
THE RISE OF THE ONLINE GAMING CULTURE
With the increase in popularity of online gaming, and the interconnectivity of the community via platforms like Twitch, or popular multiplayer games like Fortnite, gamers represent their own unique culture.