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Surprise! Not all gamers are slovenly, antisocial losers.
That’s the groundbreaking discovery of a new study conducted by LifeCourse associates and commissioned by the videogame streaming site Twitch. Stereotypes casting gamers as “glassy-eyed addicts or isolated automatons,” the report avers, are way behind the times as playing games becomes a mainstream activity.
I’ll spare you all the granular data used to prove that point (example: 57 percent of gamers but only 35 percent of non-gamers agree with the statement “My friends are the most important thing in my life”). But here’s the big one: 62 percent of Gen-Xers and 73 percent of millennials say they’ve played a videogame in the past 60 days.
That’s the stat that really matters to Twitch, which has something like 45 million unique viewers every month, up from five million at this time three years ago. It’s trying to solidify its position as the platform where people watch other people play games, which is of course dependent on an audience that already cares about those games.
Defining gaming as a healthy, social and mainstream activity gives Twitch some ammo for its claim that the hours and hours people spend on its site are reflective of a bigger disruption of traditional media, especially TV.
LifeCourse based its numbers on an online survey, conducted in March, of 1,227 Americans ages 13-64. If you’re really interested in the full dose, here’s a readable summary of the findings, excerpted from a Twitch press release:
Gamers lead more social lives than non-gamers
- Gamers are more likely to be living with other people, including their friends, families and significant others. In contrast, non-gamers are more likely to be living alone.
- Gamers are far more likely to agree with the statement “My friends are the most important thing in my life,” with a majority saying that they game with their friends.
- Gamers are less likely than non-gamers to watch TV alone and less likely to prefer to watch this way. They are also far more likely to say that they watch video on TV, PCs or mobile devices when at a friend’s than when at home.
They’re closer to their families
- Gamers are more likely to say that they have a good relationship with their parents.
- A strong majority agrees that spending time with their families and parents are top priorities. (82 percent for gamers vs. 68 percent for non-gamers)
They’re more educated
- Gamers are more likely to hold a college degree or higher. (43 percent for gamers vs. 36 percent for non-gamers)
- The same is true for gamers’ parents.
They’re more optimistic
- Gamers express far more confidence about their abilities and prospects for future success.
- A majority agree that they are “a natural leader” compared to non-gamers.
- A larger percentage say they are “more creative than most people,” compared to non-gamers.
- Gamers are much more upbeat about their career aspirations; a majority of gamers feel “very positive” or “positive” in this regard. (67 percent “very positive” for gamers vs. 42 percent non-gamers)
They’re more conventionally successful.
- Gamers are slightly more likely to be employed full-time than non-gamers.
- They’re more likely to say that they’re working in the career they want to be in. (45 percent for gamers vs. 37 percent for non-gamers).
They’re more socially conscious.
- A large majority of gamers agree that “having a positive impact on society is important.” (76 percent for gamers vs. 55 percent for non-gamers)
- Gamers are more likely to prioritize socially conscious business practices. A greater share of gamers agree it’s important that the companies they buy products from support social causes and that companies treat their customers fairly.
- They’re more likely to feel better about companies that have ethical business practices and would rather buy from those that have nothing to hide.
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