Men and Women Play Games Almost Equally, Survey Finds
But men are far more likely to identify as "gamers" than women, according to this new Pew study.
The Pew Research Center on Tuesday released the results of a video game-themed study. One of the standout statistics is that men and women report that they play video games basically equally, at 50 percent and 48 percent, respectively. However, one key difference in the study--which collected information from more than 2,000 US adults this summer--is that men (15 percent) are more than twice as likely as women (6 percent) to call themselves "gamers."
The survey also found that 60 percent of adults (men and women) believed that most people who play video games are men; this includes 57 percent of women who themselves said they play games. According to the survey, though, the breakdown is just about even as stated above.
Overall, the survey found that about half of American adults (49 percent) reported that they play video games on a computer, TV, game console, or smartphone, while 10 percent overall identify as "gamers."
In the 18-29 age group, 33 percent of men said the term "gamer" was an apt one to describe them. That's more than three times the percent of women in the age group (9 percent) who said the same.
The survey also asked people for their thoughts about violence in games and how it may affect people. 40 percent agreed with the statement “people who play violent video games are more likely to be violent themselves," but the majority (53 percent) disagreed.
Women (47 percent) were more likely than men (31 percent) to agree with that statement. Of those who reported playing games, 32 percent agreed with the statement and, perhaps unsurprisingly, 26 percent of people who identified as gamers agreed, the lowest percentage overall.
"Among the general public, attitudes toward games themselves are complex and often uncertain," Pew Research Center's Maeve Duggan said in a statement. "The public is closely split on some debates surrounding the content of games and their impact on users."
Below are some other findings from the survey, the full results of which are available here.
- 26 percent of adults think video games are a waste of time; 24 percent disagree
- 17 percent of adults think video games can help people develop good problem-solving and strategic thinking skills; 16 percent think this is not true for most games.
- 25 percent of those who play video games (and 39 percent of self-identified gamers) think most video games help develop good problem solving and strategic thinking skills, compared with just 8 percent of those who do not play games.
- 23 percent of adults do not think games promote teamwork and communication, more than double the 10 percent who think most games do promote these qualities.
- 30 percent of adults do not think most games are a better form of entertainment than TV, almost triple the 11 percent who think this is true.
- 47 percent of all adults are unsure if most video games portray minorities poorly
- 40 percent are unsure if most video games portray women poorly
- 17 percent of those who play video games (and 34 percent of those who call themselves gamers) think most games are a better form of entertainment than TV. This compares with just 5 percent of those who do not play games.
- 15 percent of video game players (and 28 percent of self-described gamers) think most games promote teamwork and communication. Just 6 percent of those without gaming experience agree.
- 35 percent of those who play video games (and 53 percent of those who identify as gamers) think most games are not a waste of time, compared with just 13 percent of those who do not play video games.
- 33 percent of those who play video games (and 46 percent of self-described gamers) do not think minorities are portrayed poorly in most games; 9 percent of game players (and 10 percent of gamers) think most games do portray minorities poorly; and 61 percent of those who do not play video games are unsure what to think on this issue.
- 26 percent of those who play video games (and 35 percent of self-identified gamers) do not think women are portrayed poorly in most games; 16 percent of game players (and 24 percent of self-identified gamers) think most games do portray women poorly; and 55 percent of those who do not play video games are unsure what to think on this topic.
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