Sure, you may love League of Legends, you may spend endless hours playing WoW and you’re looking forward to playing a FIFA 17 tournament against your buddies. However, regardless of all that, you will have probably realized that the last few years, the spectrum of video gaming has widened more than ever before, and that gaming is not only for hardcore players any more. The gamer landscape of 2016 and beyond – especially considering the emergence of Virtual Reality headsets – is turning out to be very interesting indeed – perhaps even as interesting as the gaming landscape.
A 2015 Cint survey asked UK residents to list the video game genres they play. The top answer by far was Casual games, with 27%, followed by puzzle games. Indeed, FPS and action games were only 3rd on the list, and 3rd person adventures fell below party video games. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Think of all your relatives – perhaps older – who you’ve caught playing Words with Friends on Facebook, or manically trying to get that last pig on Angry Birds on their iPad. That’s a fact – more diverse people than ever play video games or even call themselves a gamer nowadays.
First of all, let us put an end to the myth that it’s mostly men who game once and for all. In early 2015, Big Fish reported that genders in gaming are pretty much on equal terms, considering that 48% of women and 50% of men like spending time playing video games of all sorts. In the US, the average frequent female gamer is 44 years old, while the average male is 35, says the Entertainment Software Association of America.
But what is perhaps the most surprising fact in all this research, at least to hardcore gamers and eSports lovers, is the types of games that are the most popular. According to the aforementioned report by ESA, 38% of the most frequently played games on wireless devices are puzzle, board games, card games and game shows. That’s a pretty broad category, but thinking about it really puts things in perspective.
One example that explains how the idea of gaming encompasses way more than some of us tend to think, is the ever-growing popularity of online casino gaming. iGaming is popular with players of all ages and in fact the field is projected to reach $21.88 billion in market worth by 2020. Casino gaming providers such as Spin Palace do their best to impress and provide variety. From sports betting to poker and from Pai Gow to slots, punters and poker wizzes and everyone in between spend time not only playing such games but also following new developments, reading reviews and watching related videos on Twitch and Youtube.
But there’s more to consider. Take your middle-aged aunt, for instance. She’s very likely to have enjoyed board games back in the day. As she likes reading Agatha Christie, she probably loved playing Cluedo. After she got an iPhone, her neighbour told her that there’s an official Cluedo app by EA for her phone, so that’s how she ended up addicted to her iPhone. She does not need to be familiar with CS or Bioshock to be called a gamer – she is, and we have to admit it.