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Older women watching more gaming YouTube

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Woman watching laptop

I seriously do not see the appeal of Let’s Play videos. Okay, that’s not a blanket statement – I like watching videos of games that I’m curious about to see if I’d actually like them, but once a decision is made I’d much rather play them than watch them. And don’t get me started on watching people play Minecraft. But I seem to be part of a rapidly shrinking minority.

Google shared a bunch of insights about YouTube in 2014. Minecraft was the second most-searched topic for the year and gaming related channels were among the top in the world. As many YouTube visitors searched for PewDiePie as they did for Eminem or Katy Perry. Interestingly, though, there has also been a gender shift. According to Google’s pop culture and gaming insights lead, Gautam Ramdurai,

Viewership among women has doubled year over year, and women over the age of 25 are the fastest-growing demographic for gaming content. YouTube data tells us that both men and women are spending more time per video with gaming than in any other content area. Women, however, are spending slightly more time watching each gaming video than men are.

Wait, women over the age of 25 are the fastest growing audience for gaming content? I guess all the kids and men were already watching, so this is the greatest demographic with room for growth. Still, I’m not quite sure I’m understanding why this is the case. What is also interesting is that gaming is where people spend the longest time viewing, and that women are more attentive viewers, watching for even longer.

I know I need to get into watching these videos or I will really become old fashioned. I like plenty of YouTube videos, it’s not as if I don’t watch anything. I just can’t get into watching Let’s Plays. Either the game doesn’t interest me, or it does interest me and I want to play it myself. Why do you guys watch Let’s Plays, or do you prefer gaming video guides or reviews?

Last Updated: January 8, 2015

39 Comments

  1. Gavin Mannion

    January 8, 2015 at 15:06

    “women over the age of 25″ and… ”
    Older women watching more gaming YouTube ”

    What the hell people… since when is 25 old… I hate you all..

    – Grandpa

    Reply

    • Raptor Rants A Lot

      January 8, 2015 at 15:09

      Yeah with you on this. Although I am only hitting 30 this year….

      Reply

      • Blood Emperor Trevor

        January 8, 2015 at 15:13

        No wonder it smells like OLD PEOPLE in here!

        Reply

      • Jonah Cash

        January 9, 2015 at 07:50

        I am also hitting 30 this year, in just over a month and a half 0-o….

        Reply

        • Raptor Rants A Lot

          January 9, 2015 at 08:06

          I’m in May. It’s kind of scary

          Reply

          • Jonah Cash

            January 9, 2015 at 09:17

            My wife is the same age as us but apparently she is only having her 26th birthday this year so that is a bit confusing….

          • Raptor Rants A Lot

            January 9, 2015 at 10:17

            Wow. So lucky!

    • Her Highness the Hipster

      January 8, 2015 at 15:18

      don’t you know, in women years anything over 25 is crypt keeper

      -over 25 woman

      Reply

      • Ghost In The Rift

        January 8, 2015 at 15:21

        like powder milk in the breasts crypt keeper??0_o

        Reply

        • Raptor Rants A Lot

          January 8, 2015 at 19:48

          …. lol

          Reply

    • ReaperOfSquirrels

      January 8, 2015 at 16:00

      Agree with you, Llew and Zoe… except the amount of 30’s on this site seems to be quickly out weighing the 20-29’s.

      Reply

      • Raptor Rants A Lot

        January 8, 2015 at 19:49

        We are legion!

        Reply

  2. Blood Emperor Trevor

    January 8, 2015 at 15:07

    It must be all those fake girl gamers researching games to trick the real gamers – MEN! Those harpies. Where is my tinfoil hat & #foreverSP shirt? NM, found them.

    Reply

  3. Hammersteyn

    January 8, 2015 at 15:13

    The header description sounds like it should be the name of a painting. Like “Boy holding Apple” from The Grand Budapest Hotel.

    Reply

    • Blood Emperor Trevor

      January 8, 2015 at 15:15

      lol!

      Reply

      • Fish don't Swim

        January 8, 2015 at 15:19

        Atleast it’s not “Boy holding Apple” from The Catholic Church :/

        Reply

        • Fish dont Swim

          January 8, 2015 at 15:23

          Correction: “Boy holding Apple” from The Catholic Priest. ๐Ÿ˜•

          Reply

  4. SO5

    January 8, 2015 at 15:15

    Funny how these statistics pop up after the Gamergate issue. Feminists trying to justify their intrusion into the gaming industry with their Anti social behaviour hmmm?

    Reply

    • Gavin Mannion

      January 8, 2015 at 15:20

      Can’t tell if being serious… or just trolling…

      Reply

      • SO5

        January 8, 2015 at 15:32

        Being serious I’m not fuckin around with these feminists anymore, I’m calling them out. You can see it for what it is it’s as clear as day.

        Reply

        • Gavin Mannion

          January 8, 2015 at 15:34

          So you are saying YouTube has created a false report to bend to the feminist agenda?

          Hell if I was going to use this to insult women I’d at least say this is absolute proof that women aren’t realy gamers and prefer to just watch people play… though I think that’s garbage as well

          Reply

          • SO5

            January 8, 2015 at 15:49

            “this is absolute proof that women aren’t realy gamers and prefer to just watch”

            Well said

        • Gideon Venter

          January 8, 2015 at 16:48

          You’re not calling anyone out dude, you’re on the internet. This is not the real life, this is just fantasy.

          Reply

  5. Ghost In The Rift

    January 8, 2015 at 15:17

    Hmmm,Milf meets gaming,i can see that:-P

    Reply

  6. CAE9872

    January 8, 2015 at 16:18

    OK let’s cut to the chase here. Does anyone here, man or woman, actually believe this? Maybe the demographic has doubled but whats the base stat…100!!!

    I just don’t see how this can be – I don’t know of one woman that calls herself a gamer. Heck most woman I know just do not see what the point of gaming is as they prefer socialising (bookclubs, girls dinners, etc), books or movies.

    Now admittedly I am over 40 so my circle is perhaps on the “older” side, but really? I am very happy to eat my words here and be blown away by other people saying that they have indeed noticed this trend within their own circles?

    So please share your opinions and thoughts and observations. I don’t get watching gaming personally as I like to “do” but that’s just me.

    Reply

    • Tom Krager

      January 8, 2015 at 17:17

      personally I wouldn’t take my stock with “studies” like this. Pretty much they just use youtube demographic software and report what it calculates. It could just be young boys watching the gaming videos on their mother’s account. Youtube wouldn’t know the difference.

      Reply

    • Marieke44

      January 15, 2015 at 18:02

      Surprise! Get out that bottle of ketchup; goes great with those words you’re gonna eat. I am well over 40, I’ve been a dedicated gamer since my teens and I love it. I play all the time, I’ve had custom PCs built for for gaming and yes, I watch let’s plays, but only when I’m well and truly stuck and need a clue. I’d rather play than go shopping any day.

      My nearly-60 aunt is also a dedicated gamer, and has created more mods for games than anyone else I know, young or old, male or female. And yes, I do mean gamer – not old person who occasionally plays games. And I know many other women in my age group who are the same. (And yeah, we do get kinda tired of the constantly near-naked busty females in most shooters and adventure games.) Elder Scrolls was a nice change.

      I hate to say it, but maybe one reason it’s hard to believe there are so many female gamers is because many women who play online use male pseudonyms, because then they get to just enjoy playing without being treated like crap or ganged up against. I know of female gamers who’ve quit playing MMOs for that reason. It happens all the time. Not a feminist agenda, just a commentary on what goes on.

      Reply

      • Ceyber, The Metal Rabbit

        January 15, 2015 at 19:32

        I’m saying this with the best intentions so please don’t get offended. I get what you’re saying and agree with a lot of what you’ve said. However, I think you’re the exception to the rule, much like a male gamer knowing many female gamers (beyond their teenage years) is also very much an exception to general behavior.

        This is a male-dominated industry for many reasons. The major skill subsets of every game include hand-eye co-ordination, problem-solving, efficient processing of information and other skills suited to a hunter mentality (crude but true). So your enjoyment of a game is based on your proficiency in these areas of human development. Men have just had more time to hone those skills and women are just… catching up per say. I don’t see anything wrong with that and it’s just another part of how we’re evolving (I’m trying really hard not to sound misogynistic but frankly it’s impossible on a topic such as this.)

        Basically all I’m saying is that the numbers in the article don’t add up or make sense. You’re still awesome and so is your aunt. If even just one of my aunts was as willing to engage in interactive media as yours I’d be very happy.

        Reply

        • Marieke44

          January 15, 2015 at 21:41

          I’m laughing out loud now, so no worries. I have to disagree with some of what you’re saying, although I certainly understand where you’re coming from and why you would think that way. And I’m no fan of so-called “feminist” man-bashing, so we’re cool.

          Well, you know what they say: all generalizations are false. Hand-eye coordination, problem-solving, info processing etc., is not just a gender thing, it’s a brain thing. Some men are terrible drivers and have no sense of direction; some women are awesome firefighters and fighter jet pilots. I’m a much better mechanic than my boyfriend; he’s got a better eye than I do for style and colour. Sure, there are fewer women than men in many male-dominated areas, but I suspect that physical differences aside, this is largely because women have gor generations labelled as the gentler, weaker and somewhat stupider sex. Who can blame the guys for thinking we’ve had less time to hone our hunting skills when they’ve been subjected to years of advertising that treated us like.. well, google “sexist ads from the 1950s.” Hell, it’s 2015 and we’re still fighting for equal pay for equal work.

          That said, you’ve got a good point about the numbers. Some of them may be merely due to boys watching youtubes on mom’s and grandma’s account. I’d be curious to see the demographic numbers for companies like EB Games, though, which collects detailed customer data. Am I really that much of an odd woman out? Surely not, and this is not the first time I’ve read that women my age are one of the fastest growing demographics–but developers are still behaving as though games are only meant for 14-year-old hunter-gatherers. In bikinis. LOL

          PS – Yeah, my kids have said I’m kinda cool, and their friends are a little jealous. For that, at least. ๐Ÿ˜‰

          Reply

          • Ceyber, The Metal Rabbit

            January 15, 2015 at 22:23

            Now that I’ve re-read my comment, I can see how it comes across as a tad ill-informed. I do agree that my perception is indeed influenced by media, the best I can do is make a conscious effort to be aware of that fact. Thanks for reminding me.

            Equal pay shouldn’t even be an issue and I’m sad that it still is. That advantage I was talking about doesn’t apply to all males, much like having desirable features is an advantage that both sexes benefit from but some must do without. Each person has unique strengths and weaknesses, maximizing your potential no matter your gender is the world I’d like to live in. I’m sure we can agree on that.

            While a lot of feminists habitually throw the gender extremes around
            willy-nilly, it does leave openings for more moderate folk (dare I say
            like yourself) to have their voices properly heard. You know, silver lining and
            all that ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • marieke44

            January 16, 2015 at 04:13

            Nicely said. Cheers!

  7. HairyEwok

    January 8, 2015 at 16:32

    The “old ladies” are scoping out the young talent on the internets now through gaming….. They know theres better things than that right?

    Reply

    • Rock789

      January 9, 2015 at 08:08

      Cougars… Stalking the internet since Craigslist was started… ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply

  8. Tom Krager

    January 8, 2015 at 17:14

    There is a rather simple explanation for this. Older woman have sons and daughters . . . Children often watch videos on their parents account. My nephew watches minecraft videos on his grandmother’s youtube account. So this to me doesn’t surprise at all.

    Reply

    • Marieke44

      January 15, 2015 at 18:08

      And an even simpler explanation. Many older women do like gaming, just as the story says. Why is this so hard to believe? Do all you guys on here truly think that all women of any age are about nothing more than shopping and getting our nails done? My 60-ish aunt, who’s built hundreds of mods, would laugh. As am I – still gaming at 45, have been since Kings Quest was a thing. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Reply

      • Tom Krager

        January 15, 2015 at 18:27

        maybe it has something to do with the fact that when I go to a game launch I see a line full of teens and early 20 year old men usually … That and I have personal experience with lots of older females and almost none of them play video games. yet almost every male I know plays along with a quite a few of the younger ladies . . .
        Also, I have a younger nephew that uses his grandmother’s youtube account for looking up let’s plays and minecraft vids. So I know that kind of stuff happens. I don’t deny that older women play games but I think using blanket youtube stats to get the straight and narrow seems a little dishonest. . . it’s actually quite probably true that a lot of those statistics could simply be their children or grandchildren using their account.
        Nothing about older women playing games bothers me, I actually quite enjoy the idea of my favorite hobby being more popular. the issue is, I just don’t see it in the real world . . . if I do it’s the exception not the rule.

        Reply

        • Marieke44

          January 15, 2015 at 21:49

          Good points. I think you’re likely right that the Youtube numbers are skewed and the real picture might be quite different. See my comment earlier in the thread.

          Maybe women tend to stay home and play quietly on their own whereas men seem to make it more a social thing..? It’s an interesting subject; be a neat study to do. Your real world has few women gamers in it, but my real world is obviously different. I never attend game launches, though I love the games and play the crap outta them. Could be that’s where gender differences come into play.. ar, ar.

          Hm. Maybe I am just a weirdo. I’ll have to ask at my fave game store next time in in.

          Reply

  9. Jacob Bennette

    January 8, 2015 at 21:20

    It’s likely all the mothers out there checking up on their kids’ internet history…

    Reply

  10. Simon Davis

    January 9, 2015 at 15:44

    2 reasons for watching YouTube walkthroughs:
    1. Pre-purchase research
    2. When I find a section of a game difficult and want to see how someone else played it.

    Reply

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