Gaming Is So Popular That EA Exec Says The Term "Gamer" Is Outdated And Is Basically Useless

"Trying to target gamers is like saying you're targeting people who like music or people who breathe in air."


Gaming has become so commonplace and ubiquitous that it no longer makes sense to call someone a "gamer," according to Electronic Arts VP Elle McCarthy. McCarthy is the VP of brand at EA and her current mission is to reinvent and reinvigorate EA from a branding perspective.

Speaking to AdWeek, McCarthy said gaming is "no longer a medium or an industry, it is simply 'interactive.' You can now interact with almost everything through play--from an interest area like interior design to a movement like Black Lives Matter or exploring your sexual identity."

"I often get asked about how brands can partner with gaming or talk to gamers--but there's really no such thing as gamers at all and understanding that will be crucial," she said. "Did you know that only 14% of players self-identify as gamers and that is as low as 6% for women? It might be the safety someone finds in playing with people like them, free from the shackles of identity politics that can factor less in positive gaming spaces than they do in the world."

With all of this in mind, McCarthy said the term "gamer" is useless, because it's no more significant than pointing out that people breathe air.

"There are no best practice rules for how to engage with these niche, multifaceted, and passionate communities. Trying to target gamers is like saying you're targeting people who like music or people who breathe in air," she added.

McCarthy joined EA in February 2020. As mentioned, her current main task is to help breathe new life into EA, which is now almost 40 years old. "When a company hasn't been tending to its brand on the inside for so long, it requires a huge amount of innovative thinking and works to revive it," she said. "Electronic Arts' premise is that gaming wakes up your brain and it's the most connective entertainment medium on earth. Our company has grown through incredible innovation, bringing this purpose back to the center of the company. This is brand innovation in action."

One of McCarthy's current specific tasks and responsibilities at EA is to come up with a "brand purpose strategy" to help "spread positivity through our products and give back through social impact." You can read the full interview at AdWeek.

In other EA news, the company just held its latest EA Play Live event where it announced a Dead Space remake and revealed Battlefield 2042's ambitious-sounding Portal mode. Check out GameSpot's EA Play Live news roundup to catch up on all the big news.

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