Gamers are people who actively participate in video games and may also engage with gaming communities and events. They use gaming as a hobby that allows them to express themselves creatively, socialize with others, relieve boredom and stress, exercise their brains, and learn new skills. However, excessive gaming can also lead to poor lifestyle habits, including a lack of physical activity and an unhealthy diet of saturated fat and salt. It can also have negative effects on their academic performance.
Some gamers are professional players who compete in esports tournaments. These competitions house teams and players who have dedicated much of their lives to mastering their game. While it might seem like an escapist hobby, research suggests that playing video games can actually improve cognitive skills, such as pattern recognition and memorization. The specialized skills needed to excel at gaming also require a significant amount of practice and repetition, similar to a basketball player practicing their craft with a ball or musician honing their talents in front of an audience.
The esports scene has grown rapidly over the past decade, with major tournaments taking place in cities all over the world and prize money reaching millions of dollars. The most popular esports are fighting games, first-person shooters, and role-playing games (RPGs). The United States has the largest population of professional gamers, followed by South Korea and Sweden.
While the majority of gamers are male, women now make up nearly a quarter of the gaming population. There are a growing number of non-binary people in the gaming community, as well. In the last decade, there has been a major shift in the way that gamers think about their gender identity and gaming. Previously, female gamers were seen as “soft” or “weak,” but now there is an active movement for equality and respect among all gamers.
Whether they are playing Tetris on their phone or escaping into the world of Zelda, gamers are a diverse group of people who enjoy challenging themselves with immersive experiences. Despite the negative stereotypes, many gamers find their passion for gaming through a variety of methods, such as socialization, relaxation, exercise, and even learning new skills.
While some gamers spend a lot of time playing games, others prefer to watch content and stay connected with the industry through esports. This persona, called Backseat Gamers, makes up 3% of the gaming population. They play fewer hours of games, but consume more content than any other persona. Their favorite genre is Battle Royale, and their top reasons to play include overcoming challenges with strategic thinking and high-score chasing. This is the only persona where RPGs break into the top five genres, and this may be a reflection of their interest in the storytelling and tactics used in these types of games. Their average age is just over 29, with the largest group in the 10-15-year-old range. This is the only persona where Microsoft shows up in the top two gaming brands, which could explain why their preferred platform is Xbox One.