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

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.


Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now.

This list of PlayStation 4 exclusives puts its competitors to shame

The PlayStation 4's game library and incredible selection of exclusive games could make anyone with an Xbox One or Nintendo Switch think twice. Here's our list of the latest and greatest PS4 exclusives.

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.

Here's how you can play your favorite PC games with a Nintendo Switch controller

Nintendo's Switch controllers, including the Joy-Cons and the aptly titled Pro Controller, use Bluetooth, which makes them compatible with your PC. Here's how to start using them for PC gaming.

Wage war on a budget with these fun and free first-person shooters

We all know about Halo and Call of Duty by now, but what about quality titles that won't cost you upward of $60? Check out our picks for the best free first-person shooter games from Paladins to Quake Champions.

I'm canceling my backlog for Apex Legends. Be back never

Live service games like Fortnite and Apex Legends are eating up everyone's time, leaving other games out in the cold. While my backlog continues to grow, it seems the gaming industry is struggling to keep up as well.

Get creative and collect 15 coins with our Fortnite overtime challenges guide

The first Fortnite overtime challenges are now available. Use our guide to help you collect the hidden coins in the featured Creative mode islands and get closer to that free season eight battle pass.
Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.

Become a champion with our beginner's guide to Apex Legends

Jumping into Apex Legends for the first time? Need help becoming a champion? Our Apex Legends beginner's guide has 15 tips and tricks that will hopefully help your team make it into the champion's circle.

Buy a new Switch console and get a $35 eShop gift card at some retailers

Multiple retailers are currently offering the Neon Blue and Red Nintendo Switch console with a free $35 eShop gift card. The system still costs the standard $300 and includes Joy-Con controllers and the dock.

Thrive in the nuclear apocalypse with our Metro Exodus survival guide

Metro Exodus is a difficult shooter, especially if you're new to the series' blend of stealth, action, and scavenging. Here is what you need to know to survive the nuclear apocalypse.

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in Destiny 2: Forsaken

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.

How do the revised Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles stack up?

Microsoft's new Xbox One S and Sony's PlayStation 4 "Slim" have bucked the generational gaming console trend. But which of these stopgap systems is worth spending your paycheck on?