back to article Most gamers are middle-aged adults: FACT

Kids love videogames, it goes without saying. However, according to a new study, there are more adults out there playing them, with the average gamer today almost 40 years old. The report, 2011 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry, claims the average age of game players today is 37, while the average age …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    68 per cent of them reckon it stimulates and educates their child

    Roughly translated as 68 per cent of them can't be arsed with real parenting. Tell yourself something often enough and you will eventually believe it yourself.

    My video game days ended when the first child arrived. Within the next couple of years they should be standing on their own two feet and I might get back to FS and skew that average age.

    1. Solomon Grundy

      Maybe Not So Bad

      Sure it may be video games but parents spending time with their children is still a good thing. It may not be as cool as going for a hike or playing a "real" game like Risk or Monopoly but any activity that encourages family members to interact is positive.

    2. sabroni Silver badge

      "real" parenting?

      what is that supposed to mean? Playing videogames with your kids is a lot more stimulating and educational than sitting watching "britains got talent" with them.

      The idea that "real" parents don't game with their kids is bollocks. Real parents engage with their children, if the kids love gaming then join in with them. They'll think you're a lot cooler (which means they be more open with you) and you can make sure they understand the difference between a headshot in a game and in real life.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        >They'll think you're a lot cooler...

        I can't overcome such a strong argument in favour of video games as an educational aid from someone who obviously would take on a minor in a shootem up in order to teach them valuable lessons in life.

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          quote selectively why don't you

          I don't take on minors in shootems (I think you mean FPSs, shootemups are something else), the boy is 17 and just massacres me, has done since he was about 14.

          What's your point? You saying my boy is a closet psycho? you've obviously never met him, one of the sweetest people I know.

          Besides which, I even qualified the "they'll think you're a lot cooler" to show that the reason I like them thinking I'm vaguely cool is because it means we can talk about stuff like sex and drugs without them getting too embarrassed.

          Still, as the other replies to you indicate, most people realise gaming with your kids is just another way that you can spend quality time with them. Maybe you should just get on with parenting your own children and stop telling other people they're wrong...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: quote selectively why don't you

            What? That was the entire gist of your comment.

            >as the other replies to you indicate, most people realise gaming with your kids is just another way that you can spend quality time

            Yes, it appears that I've touched the collective nerve of the deluded gaming community many of them probably pre-pubescent if only in mind and not actual physical development.

            I'm not against gaming neither do I wish to tell people what to do and I do realise that any form of enjoyment with your child can be considered quality time but that gamers should try to sate their guilt by claiming games are educational is complete twaddle.

            1. sabroni Silver badge

              I said, and I quote less selectively

              "They'll think you're a lot cooler (which means they be more open with you)"

              You need to read, think, then comment, rather than just read then knee jerk abuse at people.

              "deluded gaming community many of them probably pre-pubescent if only in mind and not actual physical development." Get off your high horse, you're coming across as a right dick head. I'm 45 this year with well adjusted children of 17 and 19 years old, not a pre-pubescent physically or mentally.

              A quick google for "Videogames and mental development" indicates that your "complete twaddle" comment is at least partial twaddle itself.

    3. The Fuzzy Wotnot


      We play games together at home, either making a div of myself playing Just Dance ( 40 year old metal fan in an Evile t-shirt, prancing about to club tracks! ) or we sit down and play Monopoly or just pick up a deck of cards. I know at least two or three other blokes roughly my age who play video games and traditional table-top games with their families.

      I used to play games all the time before my kids arrived I stopped for a while as you don't really have time and it's not important. As soon as they were able to comprehend the action/reaction concept that infants learn, we started looking at introducing them to video games as way to get them comfortable with technology they would have to deal with for the rest of their lives. They don't play video games that much anymore as a consequence, it's just another thing to pass the time, like reading, going out cycling or walking, etc. Most kids are so comfortable just jumping from a tablet, to a phone, to a TV console, to a PC. They don't consider it anything amazing that they can do all that, it's just natural to them, unlike me being a sad old git who has to think about how to use one device over another before using it.

      The days of solitary video game play went out yonks ago, when the Nintendo 64 allowed four players to play Mario Kart or the multi-tap Playstation games, that's when gaming expanded to include friends and families in a social situation. Something everyone can enjoy together, just like a traditional board game.

      Video games do have a valid place in the home, with all ages, but like most things in life it requires some forethought and some moderation in how the item in question is used. Like anything else, if you misuse something or even abuse it, of course you will come off worse.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Well, consoles have had 4-way adapters for longer than those two consoles.

        Ah, the fun of Micro Machines on the MegaDrive with its built into the cart 2 extra joypad ports.

        I think it's great that more parents are actively taking part in their kids use of tech - maybe, just maybe, they'll learn how to use them better and realise that games aren't the sociopath generators the Daily Mail or Anne Diamond would have you think!

    4. Anonymous Coward

      Least of two evils

      Do you prefer having your children stuck in front of a game, or in front of the TV?

  2. DPWDC

    Perhaps game studios should focus on an older demographic for a change

    They do?

    The top titles seem to have 18+ certificates - it is just parents still buy their kids Call of Duty (18+ cert), Grand Theft Auto (18+) and no doubt they'll buy Duke Nukem 4ever (18+) but complain about the content.

    It isn't the game studios that need to change, it's the perception of gaming but the masses.

  3. Bailey

    Er... ticket(s), please

    And it's my 37th birthday next week. How timely is that!

    That might make me an 'average gamer' in this world, but dare call me that on the battlefield when I've got a Mithril Halberd +10 Fire Damage in my hand!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Call of Duty

      My brother has Call of Duty. His 4-year old's a natural at it.

  4. jake Silver badge

    Gawd/ess ...

    And what percentage think KFC is what fried chicken is supposed to taste like? Some of us might be immune, but I fear the advertising industry is winning, overall ...

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    1. DPWDC

      Thank Mattrick for party chat!

      Indeed, most of the gobby sh*tes on there are kids, but there is a silent majority in most rooms.

      I play xbox with my mates (private chat of course) who are now spread throughout the country - I see no difference between that and playing 5-a-side (other than beer is frowned on at "Goals")!

    2. DPWDC


      Hope you appreciated that I didn't make reference to PSN as I like using it to play with my mates oooooh and other such flamewar inspiring xbox vs ps3 hate.

  6. Tegne

    How disappointing this must be for those who groom young kids online

    That they are statistically more likely to be grooming a middle aged married man.

  7. Pete 2

    Bzzzt survey fail

    Not wishing to pee on their parade (though I'm going to, anyway). This report misses out a lot.

    For a kick-off, it starts with headlines about "who plays computer and video games" and comes up with the not-too-startling conclusion that 72% of americans do and that the average age of these 72% of americans is 37. Now, they're talking computer and video games. Presumably that includes Solitaire which is loaded on every PC, everywhere. Only later do they switch emphasis and start qualifying the results and talk about ONLINE games. Even then, they're only talking about 5% of the planet in one single country.

    They also claim that the average age of people who buy computer games is 41. Well, duh, yeah! you'd probably find that the average age of childrens' parents is pretty dam' close to 41 - for exactly the same reason. But that doesn't tell you who decides what games to buy, or the age of the decision maker. or the age of the person who will play it most: "what game would you like for your birthday, little Jonny?" being a key question they seem to have forgotten about. Since a lot of the later results are about parents and children, they do seem to be aware of the difference in selling/buying patterns.

    They also seem to be a little careless in differentiating people who play the odd game because their children wheedle them into it "pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeese come and play daddy", with pallid couch-potato, isolated 30-somethings who spend all their waking hours zapping some silly monsters in an RPG. Both count towards the average age, but they hardly share much in common.

    So forget the headlines, they are only there to catch journalists' attention - but they don't convey any information about the habits of ordinary people, even in america which is all this is about. Not the rest of us.

  8. Hardcastle the ancient

    "US LOT"?

    I'm not a middle aged adult.

    I'm old. And I'm still trying to work out what I want to do when I grow up.

    (icon identifies what I do when you lot are playing computer games)

    1. sabroni Silver badge


      ..what most of us are doing WHILE we play computer games...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    makes sense...

    I'm 40 and started gaming in the late 70's when it all started, since then I've been gaming on just about every format that's come and gone. I've probably 'wasted' years of my time gaming but for me I've enjoyed the whole scene, its perfect non-chemically induced escapism.

    I still find time to fit gaming in between work, wife and kids, to be honest I'll probably never give it up even when I'm in the old folks home waiting for the reaper.

  10. Cam 2

    Real age or ?

    Many popular games have age restrictions which are largely ignored by the majority of players. I would expect this fact to be overlooked by the industry of course! I don't think anyone is fooled.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Real age or ?

      Well, in the US which is what the report is concerned with, the ratings are not legally enforceable and are voluntary in the first place. You can create your own indie game and self-publish with your own non-ESRB rating, or no rating at all (just like many special, uncut, "unrated" versions of previously-rated movies you can buy right now through and the likes)

  11. Thomas 4

    Would be interested in some El Reg coverage of E3

    A deeply cynical eye on some of the presentations would be a welcome change from some of the fawning media crap on other sites.

  12. geekclick

    I see what you did there...

    I wouldn't mind an all expenses paid trip to E3 either, along with a bit more love in the gaming gadgetry department too...

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Older players - Better games then?

    And yet most games are aimed at the young or low IQ players :(

    ffs give us better games then

    1. Anonymous Coward


      So the Idiot that give this a thumbs down doesn't want better games then?

  14. T.a.f.T.
    Paris Hilton

    Adults play...

    adult games? Why is there not more of a market for risqué titles? Or is it that I am just not looking hard enough.

    I know plenty of people who are well over 30 that play games and anything that needs a monthly-sub probably has an adult registered against it so those two items must put up the average. That and 7 year olds probably won't answer a survey unless they get something out of it.

    1. Robert E A Harvey

      Pink Pixels

      I reckon risqué games would be as unattractive as porn. Tacky, interest lost in about 15 seconds, ultimately unsatisfying. Pink pixels are still just pixels.

      But, yes. surveys are very unreliable. I know, I answer one a week for Yougov...

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Hitting the buffers at the wrong end of the 20s shortly. Enjoy the XBox or the Wii, also a bit of retro gaming with the collection of mid to late 90s consoles I've managed to collect.

    Thinking of my parents, my dad got an xbox 360 for the F1 2010, my mum got a DS for the brain training games.

    I would like to hope that when I'm the wrong end of middle age I'll be firing up the Xbox 1080 or the PS6.

    I'm starting to notice though that I can't keep up with some games. Mostly the Burnout/Need For Speed type racers that seem to travel at F-Zero/Wipeout speeds. That and some FPSs.

    As an entertainment medium, for sheer escapism, it is right up there with movies. Possibly more so, as it is interactive. Who can forget the first time descending into Rapture city for example? Or the areas Portal 2 took us to? Or journeying the wastelands in the Fallout series, learning character's stories.

  16. Tom 13

    They think non-adults can afford the monthly fees for online games?

    Me thinks they need new eggheads.

  17. BarryMc

    I'm not 40!!

    I'm 27h years old.

    Also, I resent being called 'middle-aged'. I doubt my chances of making it to 80!!

    1. SuperTim

      maybe you are middle aged...

      and will die at 54!

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