Sports games fans mostly white men, find “meaningful” experiences in-game

By Brenna Hillier
3 December 2012 06:18 GMT

A survey into precisely who is buying all these annual sports games releases has turned up predictable demographic information, but also discovered some delightfully counter-stereotype results.

The research was conducted via survey by Abe Stein of the Game Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and results were published in the November release of Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies (paywall), as reported by Kotaku.

Of the 1,718 adult gamers the survey reached, almost all were male and white, and exhibited preferences for testosterone-fuelled genres: 68.3% like shooters, 59.4% like action games, only 16.4% like MMOs and almost 82% do not play social games.

The rest of the stats regarding platform and online preferences are interesting, but what is particularly neat is that despite the dudebro image the figures above suggest, Stein and his team were surprised to receive a huge number of responses to an optional question asking respondents whether they’d had a meaningful experience they’d had while playing video games.

56% of all those surveyed bothered to respond to the question, “In many cases in great detail,” Stein added. 91% of those who answered the question gave examples of incidents, ranging from “short statements to detailed reports” including some “very private and emotional stories”.

“None of the 882 stories were identical and therefore the subjective, biographical and contextual framing of these experiences were important to capture,” the report noted.

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