News Article

Weirdness: UK Survey Determines What Makes an "Average UK Gamer"

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Probably not accurate, but a quirky result

Those of us a little longer in the tooth probably remember those days in the '90s when gamers were crudely pigeon-holed as sweaty teenagers in darkened rooms or, as TV adverts tried to suggest, happy smiling teenagers in brightly lit rooms. Games have come a long way since then, of course, with technology and online gaming transforming the audience, while Nintendo's been a pioneer in recent years in bringing new gamers into the fold.

Still, when trying to understand what an "average" modern gamer is like, it can be fun to look at the results of consumer surveys; we do this in the knowledge that the results are unlikely to be particularly factual but will, nevertheless, raise our eyebrows. One such fun result is from a survey by Pixwoo, a "video gamer's social network" that conducted a survey with 2000 Brits that described themselves as gamers. The headline is that an average UK gamer, according to this survey, is a 35-year-old married man earning roughly £23,000 a year, while also finding time to play for around two hours a day.

Other (less surprising) results from the survey suggest that women play games for as long as men, these gamers typically own two consoles and roughly 18 games, while partners apparently argue twice a week about the time spent playing. In a plus for Nintendo, the Wii came out as the most popular console among those that completed the survey.

Surveys like this rarely tell a substantial story beyond a rough average over their small list of respondents, but it's not beyond the realm of reality to suggest that a lot of current gamers are those same individuals that used to hunch over an NES on a small TV in the late '80s and '90s. Or maybe they're just the demographic that are likely to be involved in a "video gamer's social network" and willingly complete a survey. You decide.

[via computerandvideogames.com]

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User Comments (26)

JimJam707

#2

JimJam707 said:

Whenever I see Ant and Dec my brain goes straight to the thought of "average gamer"

NintendoPro64

#3

NintendoPro64 said:

@Cargo
That's just one half of the modern gaming pie. They're still plenty of gamers and people out there that know what gaming's really about. The fact the 3DS is selling faster than the DS is proof of this. :P

FuseBlues

#4

FuseBlues said:

I'm unsure as to why NL thinks this result is "quirky"?

I'm 38, married, and my wife and I play a couple of hours of videogames a night after our toddler has gone to bed, and I don't think I'm in any way unusual.

clavier141

#7

clavier141 said:

Probably had to be 18 or over to even enter the survey. Doesn't help when games are mainly aimed at children.

FuseBlues

#8

FuseBlues said:

@Psychomalone Nice. My wife's a way more harcore gamer than me. She's sunk nearly 200 hours into Dragon's Dogma alone and was doing a boss fight on Mass Effect 2 whilst she was in labour with our son. :/

Mahe

#9

Mahe said:

@NintendoPro64 But the 3DS ISN'T selling faster than the DS, not anymore. The DS had a really slow start back in the day, and the 3DS was selling faster than that, but not as well as the peak days of the DS. And if we compare launch-aligned sales, the 3DS has already fallen behind the DS.

And for good reason, too. The DS simply was a better system with better games and a wider library than the 3DS has been.

ThomasBW84Admin

#10

ThomasBW84 said:

@FuseBlues A few of us staffers (not me, quite yet) fall into that married mid-30s category, too. As I've said in the article, I don't think that is actually the "average" gamer. It is for the survey's demographic, but the thousands of teens and 20-somethings that make up a large part of the market are unlikely to be involved with Pixwoo or its surveys.

Psychomalone

#11

Psychomalone said:

@FuseBlues wow, I had to start slow with mine, party games etc. But the real breakthrough was phantasy star online on the gamecube, she sunk over 300 hrs over two characters, and she got further than I did as well!

FuseBlues

#12

FuseBlues said:

@ThomasBW84 I'm assuming the "average" they took was the statistical mode - and in that case I wouldn't be overly surprised if it was pretty accurate irrespective of the demographic skews.

Frapp

#13

Frapp said:

Married, two teenage boys, gaming since 1971. I don't think the result is that unusual. There are a lot of older gamers around. I have noticed that my boys and their peers all seem to playing on Steam now and rarely touch consoles. Whereas I spend about 95% of my gaming time on Wii U and 3DS, and the rest on PS3 and my older systems.

Bulbousaur

#14

Bulbousaur said:

I suspect this didn't count people under 18, but this was interesting nonetheless.

@FuseBlues, Now THAT'S a hardcore gamer right there. Childbirth can wait, I need to save the galaxy!

AJWolfTill

#15

AJWolfTill said:

@FuseBlues
Wow that is crazy, athough having just completed it for the first time I find it hard to blame her... (ok maybe I am still amazed at this). Did you by any chance call your son Garrus?

NintendoPro64

#18

NintendoPro64 said:

@Mahe
First off, you're right in that the DS seems to have pulled ahead. But the 3DS's performance, IMO, is more impressive. For one thing while the 3DS had bigger launch sales, the post drought put it back at the same level as DS. Speaking of which, while you're right in that DS has pulled ahead, it's not like the 3DS is far behind:
2.84 / 3.61
5.27 / 4.32
6.65 / 6.68
8.83 / 15.03
14.43 / 17.13
16.73 / 19.00
21.27 / 22.19
26.82 / 29.84
35.61 / 31.09

Not only that but the 3DS seems to bounce ahead of the DS every holiday:
First Holiday 2.84 / 15.03
Second Holiday 14.43 / 29.84

And while the DS had three holidays under its belt at this point, launching in the holiday, the 3DS has only had two. Also, the 3DS recently got Animal Crossing in West and the 3DS is getting Pokémon worldwide for the holidays this time as opposed to DS who's first Pokémon didn't hit the West until Spring. It's likely that DS will stay ahead at some point, especially if both handhelds have the same lifespan. You say that the DS's better performance at this point is well deserved because it's a better system with better games. But couldn't one argue that the 3DS itself is perhaps a better system? With its virtual store, it's capable of providing old classics from NES to Gameboy Advance, it's fully B.C with DS, it has more power, offers new depth with 3D effect, and better online features. As for the library, I agree in that it won't get the flood of games DS got, but what about eShop? As 3DS sales increase, it'll become more and more attractive to indies that could somewhat fill the void. They're certainly contributing a good amount of quality games and forgettable crap right now, just as devs did with DS.

Furthermore, there's many things we have to consider in their respective performances other than their game libraries. For one thing, the 3DS is keeping up, even though it doesn't have those disruptive games like Brain Age and Nintendogs. Their 3DS sequels certainly don't seem to be setting anything on fire. Also, the 3DS has to ply its trade in a much, MUCH harsher world. The economy across the world is in tatters and it has much fiercer and direct competition in smartphones and tablets than DS did with the PSP which never really made headwinds in the West. But look at 3DS go. It's keeping up relatively well despite having a higher price, less disruptive gimmicks, and fiercer competition. It could even pass the DS once again this holiday. It might not sell or have as expansive a library as DS, but with everything I said considered, it looks likely to have quite a legacy of its own right. And lastly, going back to what you replied too, the fact the 3DS is holding up despite residing in a tougher world, further proves my point that there is still a good sized audience for old school gaming in a world smartphones seem to be the in-thing. :)

Mahe

#19

Mahe said:

@NintendoPro64 Good answer. It remains to be seen how the 3DS will fare in the upcoming months and years compared to the legacy of the DS and DSi. Certainly, games like Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Bros. and Mighty Switch Force 2 don't hurt, nor does the availability of retro Virtual Console games on the system. Now it would be nice to have a revision where the D-pad is better and in the original placement, not pushed off to a hand-crampingly poor position.

doctor_doak

#20

doctor_doak said:

Any self-respecting person would be a gamer..I mean, what else are you going to do with your spare time....bird watching??? socializing???

Lame :)

element187

#22

element187 said:

@Cargo we sure do. Self entitled spoiled children.

If a games company decide not to do a particular unprofitable game that a niche number of gamers want them to make, they are instantly the worst company in the world.

Am I the only person that accepts games companies as they are and not as I wish them to be?

element187

#23

element187 said:

My wife plays more games more than I do, but of course it's FarmVille type of games mostly.

CargoSushiimira

#24

CargoSushiimira said:

@NintendoPro64 Probably, with the 5 great games what all have 9 something out of 10 on IGN except for one

Super Mario 3D Land - 9.6~
Fire Emblem: Awakaning - 9.6~
Luigi's Mansion 2 (Dark Moon) 9.3~
Animal Crossing: New Leaf - 9.6
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate 8.8

Nintendo just have to continue like this making amazing games.

BulbasaurusRex

#25

BulbasaurusRex said:

@Mahe Better games is a matter of opinion (one I don't share), but the 3DS already has a more diverse library. Probably about 90% of the DS library consists of RPGs, puzzle games, casual games, games that overuse the touchscreen, and inferior console ports.

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