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How do gamers feel about politics?

2 min read


Considering that we just had national elections here in SA, it seems fitting to report about political leanings of gamers. Do gamers tend to lean left or right? How do gamers feel about regulation or free markets? Well, someone actually did research on it.

Over in the US of A, Reason (a libertarian publication) published an entire issue about gaming and gamers. One of their articles centered on a survey conducted by them (so be prepared for some bias in reporting) into just how libertarian and politically minded gamers are. According to their findings, despite claiming that they don’t align as libertarian, most gamers are against government policies that control their individual choices.

Our polls show that many government bans on products or activities like caffeinated energy drinks or online gambling are already disliked by Americans, regardless of gaming habits. But for gamers, this dislike of nanny-style regulation is enhanced—upgraded if you will. For every single poll question where we asked whether the government should allow people to own, consume, or use certain products or services that are currently a focus of debate, gamers are more likely to say yes than non-gamers.

Well, that’s not much of a big surprise. Of course gamers agree with buying energy drinks, playing violent video games and gambling in online poker games. However, despite being free and open with people’s freedom to entertain themselves however they wish, gamers aren’t as lackadaisical about police power and accountability. 70% of gamers (compared to 57% of non-gamers) think that drones and military tools in the hands of police goes too far. This makes sense considering that 63% of gamers (compared to 44% of non-gamers) believe that police aren’t held accountable for misconduct. I suppose we’ve all played too many games whereby we need to reveal the controversies and corruption inside government, and often the police.

As a general rule, the gamers I’ve met tend to be more politically minded than non-gamers. They don’t always align in terms of left or right leaning, but they are more politically aware and globally conscious. Of course, it depends on the type of gamer – perhaps it’s the plot lines of RPGs that make those gamers more politically active than the run and gun joy riders. What do you think – have you seen political commonalities across the gaming community, or is it just as varied as other groups?

Last Updated: May 9, 2014

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