Skip to main content

Gamers care less for competitive play as they get older, study shows

old-gamers-nintendo-wii
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Though many people hear the word “gamer” and think of adolescent males, studies have shown the number of men and women who play games is almost equal, and the average game player in 2015 was 35 years old. Following up on this information, analytics firm Quantic Foundry released a report on “gamer motivations,” with insight into how players’ interest and excitement in games shifts as they grow older.

One of the major takeaways from the study, which collected data from more than 140,000 participants, was that competitive gaming is a young man’s game. Competition motivated young men (ages 15 to 25) much more than their female counterparts, but guys tend to lose interest in that competitive gameplay when they enter middle age. By 45, men and women were equally motivated by competitive gameplay.

Interestingly, the young male player base that gets excited about competitive gaming closely mirrors the group most likely to identify as a “gamer.” According to a 2015 study from the Pew Research Center, 49 percent of adults play video games, but only 10 percent of those who play would call themselves “gamers.” At the same time, a third of men between 15-29 use the term to reger to themselves, according to the report.

Across the board, it seemed people become less motivated to play games as they age. The study attributed that to a general shift in lifestyle, including “a broader range of responsibilities and pursuits.” At the same time, it asserted that being less actively driven to play, doesn’t necessarily mean older players enjoy their games less.

“‘Low Excitement’ implies a specific kind of gameplay, and calm/stress-free gameplay is no less valid than fast/stressful gameplay,” Quantic Foundry co-founder Nick Yee said in recent blog post.

Case in point, the study showed that interest in strategy — not necessarily strategy games, but the act being strategic in gameplay — rarely made gamers as excited as competitive gaming, but also shifted considerably less as players get older.

Mike Epstein
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Michael is a New York-based tech and culture reporter, and a graduate of Northwestwern University’s Medill School of…
PS5 themes: Can you customize your homescreen?
A person plays Crash Bandicoot using a PS5 DualSense controller.

There's a lot to love about PS5, but it's missing one key feature from the old PS4 -- themes. On the old console, themes were used as a way to customize your homescreen and were often inspired by iconic games or beloved characters. Unfortunately, themes aren't available on PS5, though Sony has implemented a cool new feature that modifies the background as you browse your collection of games.

Here's a comprehensive look at how you can customize your PS5 homescreen and whether you can change its background.
Does the PS5 have themes?

Read more
How to uninstall Steam games (and reinstall them later)
how to uninstall steam games 1

Modern digital game distribution makes buying and installing games easier than ever. If you play games on a PC, there is a very good chance you’re using Steam. With many games requiring more and more storage space for all those HD textures and uncompressed audio tracks, most players don’t have space for every game they own on their hard drives. Plus, with those attractive Steam sales that are the source of the bulk of our libraries, it’s easy to amass a huge offering of games.

Read more
PlayStation Portal restocks — Can you buy the console today?
A PlayStation Portal plays Marvel's Spider-Man 2.

The PlayStation Portal is having as much trouble staying is stock as the PS5 three years ago. The second restocks come in, they sell out. The PlayStation Portable allows you to connect to your PlayStation 5 via Remote Play over Wi-Fi, so it’s perfect for portable gaming whether you’re traveling or simply sitting on the couch with the family, away from your beloved console. Since the PlayStation Portal launched, it’s been tough to find stock. Much like how hard it was to find the PlayStation 5 once upon a time, the PlayStation Portal is tricky to track down. That’s where we’re here to help with some insight on where to look, as well as what to consider for a PlayStation Portal alternative if you just can’t wait.
Where can I buy the PlayStation Portal?
As of February 20, the PlayStation Portal is sold out at its original MSRP. The only options currently available are through resellers at Walmart, with the prices as high as $298 (it's originally $200). Whenever a retailer gains stock, it sells out super fast. That’s why it’s important to have a list ready of all the major retailers that are likely to get stock again. Restocks will come. We just can’t say when. Here are all the retailers you should check out on your quest for a PlayStation Portal.

-- The retailer occasionally has stock from third-party retailers but these tend to be priced higher than the MSRP.

Read more