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40% of Adults Play Games 80

Gamasutra reports on an AP Poll stating that some 40% of American adults play games. From the article: "The poll also yielded plenty of other results worth ruminating on - 45 percent of gamers play over the Internet, and those who do are notably more 'hardcore' than those who do not. Forty-two percent of online gamers spent four hours or more per week playing games, but only 26% of offline gamers did similarly. The AP/AOL survey also revealed that, of those who play online games, almost one in five said they had formed real-life friendships or relationships with those they play with online, showing the use of gaming as a social activity, even when playing remotely against others."
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40% of Adults Play Games

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  • Okay people (Score:3, Insightful)

    by imboboage0 ( 876812 ) <> on Monday May 08, 2006 @04:35PM (#15288095) Homepage
    Does it really matter the percentage of people that play games? I believe many of us do it as a way to have fun and pass time. Is it really such a surprise that people play games? I'm really getting tired of all these studies.
    • I read in a science magazine that 55% of statistics are not surprising.
    • Re:Okay people (Score:5, Insightful)

      by porcupine8 ( 816071 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @04:47PM (#15288201) Journal
      Well, it matters in that certain political and/or media figures try to paint all "gamers" as lazy teenagers with no lives, goals, or aspirations who can't distinguish fantasy gameplay from reality. And a certain portion of the population, who don't play games and who don't personally know many gamers, believe them.

      The more statistics like this get out, the more these people are challenged by the fact that "gamers", in fact, are normal everyday people - including *gasp* adults with jobs and families. And that, while keeping small children from witnessing graphic sex and violence is one thing, it's quite another to censor an entire category of media that is widely enjoyed by adults who can make their own decisions.

    • At least it's drawing attention away from all those bodies in our closets (gamers) ...I mean, yeah I agree. Really this is just another pointless survey by people that have nothing better to do, but it's better than someone trying to prove video games prove cancer etc... Though I'm sure that's not far off.
  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Monday May 08, 2006 @04:37PM (#15288111) Homepage Journal

    ...what question of the adult population listens to and respects jackpipes like Jack Thompson []?

  • Mainstream (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .werdnaredne.> on Monday May 08, 2006 @04:37PM (#15288116) Homepage Journal
    This doesn't surprise me in the least. Gaming is mainstream, though some people don't realize that. That's why Halo 2's opening day of sales was better than any opening day of sales for any movie in history.
  • AP? (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by mgabrys_sf ( 951552 )
    The Associated Press? The same lunkheads that were pushing Mac FUD less than a week ago about Mac Viruses? The tech group at that pile of generic newpaper filler has to be worse than the Register UK.


    Here's some more headlines from the AP, Macs have windows - just like Windows! Atari - they're back - and they're in France!! Microsoft announces Longhorn! Sony PS2 winning customers - can the PS3 be far behind? E3 - what's THAT all about?
  • ...The AP-AOL Games poll of 3,024 U.S. adults, including 1,046 gamers...
    Holy "obvious Stat-101" Batman!
  • The only way I can say that anyone who plays online is "hardcore" is by their hardcore swearing. I've never heard so many pre-pubescent teenagers curse in my life!
  • by Bongo Bill ( 853669 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @04:48PM (#15288209) Homepage
    How many of these games are Solitaire and Minesweeper, or on Flash portals like PopCap? These are very clearly games, but to what extent can they be compared to what the average Slashdot user thinks of as games (Halo, Metroid, Final Fantasy, GTA, &c.)?
    • It's still games (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Moraelin ( 679338 )
      "These are very clearly games, but to what extent can they be compared to what the average Slashdot user thinks of as games (Halo, Metroid, Final Fantasy, GTA, &c.)?"

      As you've said, they're very clearly games anyway, so why is such a distinction important? Yes, we can jolly well go into "only those playing my favourite genres are _really_ gamers, and those playing that other crap aren't really". (After all, all the "yeah, but those writing the same project without EJBs aren't _really_ programmers" or "y
      • Of course the free games are just like cannabis, it's a gateway man, then their into the hard core stuff and before you know it their MMORPGed and addicted for life.

        Most pc gamers started off with the free games and once those prove insufficient but have created the desire they move into progressively more expensive and extensive games and costlier gaming rigs. It just takes time and exposure.

        More than anything else computer gamings association with teenage males is slowed up adult gaming adoption but a

      • So again, let's just leave it as "If you play a game, you're a gamer." Avoids a lot of such complications.
        So if you use a computer, you're a geek? If you drive a car, you're an auto enthusiast? If you walk, you're a fitness buff?

        It's a tough line to draw, but surely there is a distinction between people who play the occasional solitare game and people who spend way too much time writing about gaming distinctions on a geek news site.
        • "So if you use a computer, you're a geek? If you drive a car, you're an auto enthusiast? If you walk, you're a fitness buff?"

          How about this?

          - if you use a computer, you're a computer user
          - if you drive a car, you're a driver
          - if you walk, you're a pedestrian
          - if you play a game, you're a gamer

          It's easy, isn't it?

          Let's say we get if we introduced further distinctions like "yeah, he's driving a car, but it's a cheap Fiat, so it's not _really_ a driver. You have to be in a Mercedes or BMW executive class or hi
      • You misunderstand my intention. I'm not trying to disparage people who aren't seriously into gaming. I'm just saying the data is not comprehensive enough. There is a marked difference in the buying habits of a person who plays Solitaire in his lunch break and a person who doesn't leave his house without a DS, a PSP, and a gaming laptop in his backpack. The industry needs to understand these differences if games are to grow as a medium. If the data is limited to "Do you play games?" then you won't be able to
  • Is it just me... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @04:50PM (#15288236) Homepage Journal
    ... or are other people bothered by the assumption that when somebody says "games" they mean "computer games"?
    • or are other people bothered by the assumption that when somebody says "games" they mean "computer games"?

      It's just you

      • From my experience, closer to 99% of adults play games, at least in the over 45s group. We have games like Bridge, Canasta, Euchre, Scrabble, Lotto, Bingo and the Horsies.

        Then we have the hardcore games like "Beat the Teenage punks with a baseball bat", "Sonic Attack" (a fun game where you play loud Frank Sinatra and Satchmo at the Hip-Hop Death Rappers and watch them squirm), "Report the scum who deal drugs to kids to the police and then bet on how few months they'll be back in the park", "Set fire to the

    • I hate the term "gamers" altogether. I've never said "I'm gaming right now," I say "I'm playing video games." Hence, I'm a player of video games, not a gamer. Game is a noun, not a verb (at least not in that sense of the word). Sometimes I wish I wasn't such a stickler when it comes to English!
      • Despite what your high school English teacher told you, it's perfectly OK to verb a noun. Talking and writing is about communication. Artificial distinctions about what kinds of words you should use for what are cultural conventions, not moral imperatives.
  • by truthsearch ( 249536 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @04:51PM (#15288239) Homepage Journal
    9 out of 10 Americans hate the tenth for telling them about useless surveys.
  • It leaves the question, what are the other 60% doing with their time?
    Possible options:
    watching TV
    feeding children
    making lists.
  • Am I the only one who was very excited by the idea of a 40% discount?
  • Regardless of how many adults I know that play games, I am ultimately surprised in these results. The article doesn't mention what age groups they polled, and I would expect that they might have "forgotten" to poll some of the older members of society (who, as it turns out, also count as adults). Because while I would believe about 60-70% of people in their 20s playing games, I find it hard to believe any more than 10% of 45+ year olds playing and a decreasing percentage from there on up.
  • Misleading headline (Score:3, Informative)

    by singularity ( 2031 ) * <nowalmart AT gmail DOT com> on Monday May 08, 2006 @05:26PM (#15288482) Homepage Journal
    Please not the article is talking about "video games", and more specifically console and computer games.

    This past weekend I played a very fun game of Uno at a coffeeshop with some friends. I have been known to break out a Scrabble board on occasion. Last month I even played Parthenon [] with some friends. I would like to get back into D&D at some point.

    When I am in a bar, if they have a Galaga or Ms. Pac-Man machine, I am all over it. I wish there was a D&B nearby (or maybe not, since I would probably end up going to often and spending too much money)

    That said, I cannot remember the last time I played a game on my computer. On occasion I will play a console game at a friend's house, but I do not own one. I have nothing against them, they tend to just be beyond my budget (I feel like I could afford a console OR the games, but not both). I can have as much fun playing a much less expensive board game.
  • Jut wondering how many times this year we are going to be told that Adults [] Play [] Games [] ???
  • More importantly (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Geneus ( 853382 ) on Monday May 08, 2006 @07:03PM (#15289061)
    What percentage of gamers are adults? I think that would be much more interesting than the other way.
    • That is an interesting question. The AP-AOL Games poll only surveyed adults though. Conducting a scientific survey of people under age 18 is not impossible but difficult/expensive because of the need to get parental consent. A year ago AOL Games commissioned this poll [] that sampled video games players age 12-55. The sample of teens was on the small side (N=204) but better than nothing. The questionnaire was much more extensive than this year's poll and also got into "offline" game-playing e.g. poker. All thi
  • Well, all the girls I meet seem to be hooked on playing mindgames.
  • by shmelly ( 855824 )
    almost one in five said they had formed real-life friendships or relationships with those they play with online

    I find that I don't need any more relationships to maintain than the ones I already have. In fact, I weekly "gamer night" to keep in touch with people I know IRL, but that live in other states/countries.
  • "Men, younger adults and minorities were most likely to play games, according to the poll."

    Why even mention minorities in the report? Did they mention the majorities? Are they not part of the Men and younger adults category? How many Irish or Italian Americans play games? Think about it. Is it really that significant or are we trying to say something here? Because America's population is still over 75% white.

    Maybe if it should just say Americans or not include any specific race or include all races.

    What do
  • This is old news. We've had stats like this for a long time from the ESA: []

    They have more interesting stats than these guys managed to come up with, too.
  • D@m you Pong..... D@m YOUUUUUUU!!!!
  • an online poll? Seriously, where'd they get that information. Many americans don't even have consistent internet access. Think people living in rural areas... Unless this was done by random calling over a geographically diverse area, I would not consider it representative of all americans.
  • This survey should be held against the last survey that proclaimed that anyone spending more than 4 hours online per day is addicted to Internet. Considering an addiction is essentially abnormal behaviour, at what point can you no longer say a group of people is displaying abnormal behaviour - when that group is 40% of your population? 60%? 80%?


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