Post I.T. - Washington Post Technology Blog Frank Ahrens Sara Goo Sam Diaz Mike Musgrove Alan Sipress Yuki Noguchi Post I.T.
Tech Podcast
The Bloggers
Subscribe to this Blog

New Research: Adults & Videogames

Mike Musgrove

In September, Pew internet & American Life revealed some research about kids and videogames. Now the non-profit research organization is revealing some figures about how many grown-ups participate in the pastime.

Perhaps not too surprisingly, it turns out that younger people are more likely to play videogames than older people. While 81 percent of folks between 18 and 29, that percentage goes down about 20 percentage points per decade. That is, 60 percent of thirtysomethings, 40 percent of fortysomethings, and so on. Younger people are more likely to play on videogame consoles like the Xbox and older people are more likely to play games on computers.

The research found a slight correlation between education and gaming habits; people with college degrees are more likely to play videogames than those without.

Amanda Lenhart, senior research specialist, said that one possibly unexpected finding was that the level of participation in this pastime is about equal between the genders. Overall, about 55 percent of men play videogames -- compared to 50 percent of women.

"That's a little counterintuitive for people who don't play videogames," she said.

The study was based on a pool size of over 2,000 randomly selected Americans.

By Mike Musgrove  |  December 7, 2008; 4:00 PM ET  | Category:  Mike Musgrove
Previous: CSPAN: ESA Head Talks Shop | Next: Commission Wants Cybersecurity Chief in White House

Add Post I.T. to Your Site
Stay on top of the latest Post I.T. news! This easy-to-use widget is simple to add to your own Web site and will update every time there's a new installment of Post I.T.
Get This Widget >>

Blogs That Reference This Entry

TrackBack URL for this entry:


Please email us to report offensive comments.

It's not the first time I've seen that stat about so many women playing video games. I know my personal observations are subjective, but nowhere near 50% of the women I know play video games.

So I'm curious, does the survey include playing solitaire or minesweeper now and again to kill time at the office to be playing video games? It seems like these surveys, in an effort to not limit gaming to mean just the male dominated shooters and sports games, don't try to weed out the solitaire crowd (there's no link to the study this article is about by the way). The survey question I'd like to see would ask if the person plays games that he/she paid for (or pirated). That would leave out the solitaire crowd while getting a better sense of who gamers are.

Posted by: Booyah5000 | December 8, 2008 3:07 AM

Summary memo here

The actual report pdf is here

Booyah, solitaire and minesweeper were not considered, you may want to read this footnote ...
"1 Unless otherwise noted, any reference to video games, game playing or the term ‘gamer’ in this report refers to
any respondent who reported playing games online and/or said he used any one or more of the following devices
to play games: desktop or laptop computer, game console, cell phone, Blackberry, some other handheld
organizer or a portable gaming device."

Why don't bloggers understand that they should post links to what they reference in their blogs? Are they too lazy or do they just not understand what differentiates a blog from an article? C minus, Mr. Musgrove for making your readers hunt down what you should have included in your post.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | December 8, 2008 11:20 AM

Constructive criticism is better if written nicely ;)

Anyway, thanks for the link. However, I see nothing in the memo that says solitaire or minesweeper were not considered. According to the criteria, my mother would be considered a gamer and she only plays Freecell on the computer.

Posted by: Joran | December 8, 2008 12:23 PM

"this report refers to
any respondent who reported playing games online " -from the pdf, not the memo

Sweetie, honeybuns, I don't want to be cruel but minesweeper and solitaire are not played online. Nice enough for ya?

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | December 8, 2008 12:53 PM

Lost: Read your own quote (or the pdf): It says online "and/or" on those devices. Perhaps you were too busy ranting to follow your own instructions and simply read the thing. Can we expect your apology now or will you just retreat to your hole in silence?

Posted by: jimmie2 | December 8, 2008 1:24 PM

I agree with Booyah. Anytime they link the female population, they lump in a lot of what some people call "Casual Gamers". How much of these people actually consider themselves gamers?

I still think it's pretty well-split, since a lot of social games, like Sims or Rock Band have brought in more female characters than something like GTA IV.

Posted by: Joran | December 8, 2008 2:33 PM

jimmie wtf is your problem?
I was making a joke, not ranting. Perhaps you're too busy being a sexist prick to realize that? I don't know who "we" is, but you should expect my "apology" about the same time you grow the hell up.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | December 8, 2008 3:36 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.


© 2009 The Washington Post Company