What’s your gaming tribe? A new study uncovers a new way to look at gamers and gaming. Surveys and studies can be tailored to prove pretty much anything. However, sometimes a well researched piece of work undeniably underlines reality. A new study sourced with demographic profiling from TGI, a leading provider of media surveys, does just this as it sticks a pin in the shifting ground of videogame players.
Commissioned by the Golden Joystick Awards and Future Publishing, but remaining strangely unpublished beyond a headline-heavy press release, the research reveals three new gamer profiles. As they put it in the opening paragraphs of the study, “Recent research has uncovered three new types of gamers. Mono Gamers, Commuter Gamers and Family Gamers have all emerged as unique, new gamer types present in the UK in 2011.” I like how they are thinking.
Perhaps the best take-away here is that we can longer understand ourselves as gamers or non-gamers. The world is now fractured and segmented and requires a more tribal understanding. Whether it happens quickly or slowly, it is inevitable that video-games will follow digital TV and Radio in their increasingly Narrowcast (rather than Broadcast) approach.
Of course, it’s nice to see Family Gamers talked about in an official study, but more than that the acceptance that we need to address game players as if they are people (which I hear some might actually be) is a big step forward.
It’s this perspective of gaming that also leads to much more interesting games. As I was talking about on last week’s FGTV show, games like Limbo and Flower are much better places for Family Gamers to start than the mass marketed family games because they actually treat the player as if they have the concerns of a real person.
As we engage with gamers and games in a more person-centric fashion I have great hope that video-games will emerge the richer for it. This personal engagement offers the resources they have been lacking to ask interesting questions of developers and designers. What would this game look like if it wasn’t violent? What does the player take with them once they’ve stopped playing? How does this entertainment play with the cultural ideas in the mind of the player?
Read Andy Robertson’s article in full here.