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  • Writer's pictureAlexander Matambo

Gamers Are Not Who You Think They Are

When you think of a gamer, what image comes to mind? A teenager in his parent's basement, angrily tapping at his controller in a vicious game of Fortnite? Or someone spending hours grinding at World of Warcraft, striving to get the perfect gear for the boss battle? What if I told you that these ideas of a "gamer" are very far from reality?

Gamers are one of the most misunderstood audience groups, swept in a cloud of stereotypes and outdated cliches. The true depth of this audience is rarely realised.

Gaming has come a long way since its arcade roots in the 70s. Technological advancements have made it significantly easier to access and play games. The device you are reading this on has the power to become a powerful gaming conduit. Smartphones allow us to have gaming consoles in our pockets and the advancement of online gaming has never been more accessible.

The misunderstanding emerges as a result of gaming studies being overly simplified, focusing purely on demographics and ignoring the more nuanced aspects of gaming culture, such as motivations, perceptual attributes, and cultural influence.

Gamers are often portrayed in binaries, as either mobile or console players, hardcore or casual players, first-person shooter or puzzle players. This approach is flawed because it portrays gamers as one-dimensional and fits them into predefined stereotypes.

Redefining the Definition of a Gamer

So, what makes someone a gamer?

The number of hours they invest into gaming? The platforms they play on? Their motivations for playing?

Or is it that they simply play games?

As mentioned, gaming has evolved over the past decades to become an experience, encompassing playing, viewing, and engaging with video game content. So, by that definition, a gamer is someone who actively engages in gaming behaviour and activities.

Thus, the kid spending hours on Call of Duty and the mother anxiously awaiting the newest levels of Candy Crush are both gamers.

They can both quietly revel in the sense of accomplishment that their games offer, while also enjoying the social connections that come from playing with their friends. They rush to buy the newest releases and updates, and most importantly, they enjoy the process of gaming.

The gaming audience is significantly larger and more diverse than most realise. Gamers are a multifaceted and often misunderstood audience segment. By establishing and understanding the varying gamer personas, brands can better connect to engage with this elusive audience group.

Stay tuned, the next post will go into details and debunk some of the longest-held gamer stereotypes and misconceptions.

For more insight into the intersection of finance, tech, and marketing; or for individual consultation, feel free to reach out.


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