The gaming industry has been estimated as being worth over £78bn in 2016, with the number of regular video game players in the UK estimated as being anywhere between 18.8m and 36.4m- that’s 40-57% of the total population. 58% of the players are male and 42% female, with males aged between 15 and 24 representing the biggest single demographic.
There are also more gaming platforms available than ever before. Online games are fast gaining in popularity over shop-bought games, while mobile devices, including tablets and smartphones, have overtaken PCs as the global gaming platform of choice for the first time this year.
With gaming having such a wide appeal to such a vast section of the population, it’s clear that gamers can’t be stereotyped as falling into just one particular personality category. The image of the typical video game player as a socially awkward, over-intelligent but introverted young male is very out of date. Certainly, players like that do exist, but they’re joined by a wide range of other personality types that reflect a varied range of types and attitudes. So where do you fit in?
This is essentially the type mentioned above. They would rather play games alone than risk the uncertainty of actual human contact. Although often highly intelligent, they are also highly sensitive to slights and bullying and would rather withdraw from the world than risk being hurt or having to deal with fools. They prefer games of skill and strategy, although they enjoy simple shooters and beat-em-ups as well to release their latent aggression.
The opposite of the loner in many ways, this type of gamer is just as common. They are extremely social and see gaming as a medium for socialising and a subject for conversation with fellow enthusiasts as well as a way to relax and enjoy down time. The extrovert may be just as at home with table games like poker, and recognising them at the poker table may help your strategy against them. The site 888poker has provided a fun quiz that you can use to establish exactly what your poker personality is. Taking the quiz can be very useful because the resulting psychological and strategic advice provided by experts can help improve your playing skills.
This character combines the introverted, tunnel-vision nature of the loner with some of the need for social acceptance of the extrovert. Their passion is in collecting games, perhaps more than playing them, and they are most at home in their own game-centred world. However, because their collection gives them their self-worth they also need other people as a mirror they can boast about their latest finds to, or fall into intense discussion about gaming trivia with.
Very different to the collector, this type wouldn’t necessarily class himself or herself as a gamer at all. They enjoy playing video games, but it isn’t the be-all and end-all of their lives; they have other hobbies and interests as well, and it’s just one of many ways they like to relax. Hardcore gamers may sneer at the casual as a part-timer, but those outside the scene would probably just see them as someone who has the balance right.
There are of course many other personality types and sub-categories we could list here, but it’s amazing how many of our acquaintances fall into one of the basic groups listed above. Try it with your friends and see where they fit!