Gaming is something that anyone can enjoy. From grandma swearing at the screen in Tetris when a long block fails to pop up, to the younger members of the family sticking around to ruin box art, it’s pretty much a welcoming form of entertainment. So what kind of people play sports games then? Not grandma, we’ll tell you that much.
A research conducted via survey by Abe Stein of the Game Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has been published in Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies , that Kotaku picked up on.
Gamers that played sports games, were usually white males between 18 and 24 years of age, and of the 1718 that were surveyed 68.3% of them went for shooters, 59.4% went for action titles, 16.4% dug some MMO grinding and around 82% preferred to give social gaming the finger, ignoring that genre in the process.
But here is where things get interesting. Despite the fact that the Massachusetts stats revealed that the gaming fraternity was whiter than Tom Cruises’ teeth, an optional question asking those players about meaningful experiences, revealed more under the surface than the usual frat boy image associated with it.
56% of the people that took part, responded to the question, “In many cases in great detail,” Stein said. Of those people, 91% of them gave examples that ranged from “short statements to detailed reports” including some “very private and emotional stories”.
None of the 882 stories were identical and therefore the subjective, biographical and contextual framing of these experiences were important to capture.
“None of the 882 stories were identical and therefore the subjective, biographical and contextual framing of these experiences were important to capture,” the report explained. Of course, those numbers are to be expected in a place such as Massachusetts, which may not be as a big of a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities as other American states are.
You can view the survey for yourself online, if you feel like paying $25, but Stein and his colleagues do mention that they “still lack knowledge on how these players relate their passion for video games to their sports fandom in general”. which means that more research will be on the cards.