Over the years we have debated many things about gamers, their behaviors, and what the future may hold for this multi-billion dollar industry. The truth is, as “geek-culture” has become the new “pop-culture” being a gamer from any demographic doesn’t hold the novelty it used to. The #gamergate incident made girl gamers a major topic of conversation for quite a while, and now everyone should know that girls game. As a matter of fact, MOST people game. It’s nothing new.
The label “gamer” or “girl gamer”, used to have some special connotations that have changed over the years. So much that people held onto that label as a badge of honor, as something that made them fundamentally unique. But now it’s starting to hold as much weight as calling yourself human. What does this mean?
The Eventbrite 2015 Fandom Survey, though focusing on the habits of con goers, really touched on some interesting information about gamers that is worth noting. Let’s explore some of their findings.
About the Eventbrite 2015 Fandom Survey
- Sponsored by Eventbrite, the global ticketing and events marketplace, to provide greater insight into the multi-billion dollar fandom events and convention business,
- Survey open 5/13-6/1 2015
- 21 questions ranging from fandom identification to attitudes about conventions to demographics
- 2165 total respondents
o 1771 from Eventbrite direct mail
o 394 from external/social (gathered via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook)
o Respondents were self-selected
- 94% of respondents attended a fan event or convention in the past 12 months
- Respondents from 46 US States plus DC (no ND, SD, MS or HI) and 2 US territories. Nearly 4% of respondents came from outside the US.
- We did not poll on sexual orientation, race or ethnicity
- 12.7% of respondents have been attending fans for less than 1 year, 31.3% for 1-3 years, 32.8% for 4-10 years, and 23.2% for more than 10 years.
- 266 out of 2165 respondents (12%) identified their primary interest as video gaming
- 64% between ages 23-40, only 14% over 40
- Overall gender breakdown for gamers: 59% male, 38% female, 3% non-binary/other
- 39% single (40% of males are single, 36% of females, 43% non-binary/other)
What else gamers like?
- Sci-fi/fantasy (62% enjoy a lot)
- Comics and genre-based media (57% enjoy a lot)
- Only 38% of videogamers enjoy hobby gaming a lot (40% somewhat, 22% not fans)
- Few are fans of indy/small press: only 8.3% like a lot
Gamers aren’t big cosplayers:
- 44% don’t cosplay at all
- 36% sometimes come in mask or costume but it’s just casual
- Only 20% are serious cosplayers
Attendance at Fan Events:
- More than 65% of gamers went to 2 or more fan events in the past 12 months
- 15% went to 5 or more (roughly equal percentages m/f)
- 42% go in groups of 2 or more; only 18% go alone
- Most (39%) have been attending events for 4-10 years. 15% have been going more than 10 years.
- Events of 10,000-50,000 are the right size for gamers – a plurality of 43% prefer this sized show.
- Overall, gamers are among the lightest spenders at fan events. 40% spend less than $100, only 6% spend over $500.
- Gamers’ favorite purchases are prints and original artwork (30% always/usually, 35% sometimes) and clothing, t-shirts and non-cosplay fashions (23% always, 44% sometimes)
- Only 16% of gamers say they always or usually buy games and game supplies at shows. 45% say they seldom or never buy these items.
- Celebrity autographs and photos are also not popular with gamers: only 8% always or usually buy these; 51% never buy.
Do Gamers Feel Safe and Welcome at their Events?
- 91.6% agree that “in general, the fan events you attend do enough to make all attendees feel safe and welcome”; 8.4% say no
- Broken down by gender:
o Male: 94% say yes, 6% say no
o Female: 87.5% say yes, 12.5% say no
o Non-binary/other (small sample): 86% yes, 14.3% no
According to this survey, gamers (most of whom are millennials) aren’t hardcore cosplayers if they cosplay at all, Gamers usually attend cons though they are remarkably frugal unless they see an interesting t-shirt. Gamers sound like a fairly “basic” community. For all of you gamers that thought you were special and a part of a small niche community, there is a bright side! This survey fails to touch on some things that make gamers more exceptional. Gamers tend to be extremely multifaceted. A person’s interest in gaming along with the types of games they play can lead to a lot of insight about that indivudial person. Saying you are a gamer isn’t as straightforward as saying you like baseball. There is much more to be explored in that conversation. It is at this point that gamers can truly showcase how unique this community can be.
Are any of these findings surprising to you! Let us know your thoughts! What do you think the future looks like for gamers?