Survey: Over Half of American Adults Are Gamers, Older Gamers Favor PCs Over Consoles

By Chris Faylor, Dec 08, 2008 12:42pm PST The older a gamer, the more likely they are to spend their game time on a PC, claims a new survey by nonprofit "fact tank" Pew Research.

In this instance, a gamer is defined as one that uses some type of computer, game console, mobile or portable device for game play.

53% of American adults, aged 18 or older, were found to be gamers under that definition, while 97% of teenage participants fell under the gamer label.

In all, 38% of adult participants reported using a computer to game, with only 28% reporting the use of a console. While consoles were most popular with the 18-29 crowd, those above 30 were found to favor computer gaming. No explanation was given.

It was not specified if the computer gaming figures took "casual" gaming into account, such as Solitaire and the wealth of free-to-play web-based Flash games. Such games typically require less time, money and skill than console efforts.

The study also found that adult men are more likely to play games than women (55% vs. 50%), and that the more education someone has, the more likely they are to game.

The report further claims that "virtual worlds and MMOGs have yet to catch on," with only 2% of gamers having visited a "virtual world such as Second Life."

Young adults and teen gamers were found to be most likely to play a massively multiplayer game, with the figures coming in at 14% and 21% respectively.

Adult data for the report was based on a survey of 2,054 adults, of which 1,063 were gamers. Teen data for the report was based on a survey of 1,064 teen gamers.

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  • I am 40, I have a PC and Xbox360.

    While I do like the 360 for racing games, I just cant the hang of the damn controller for shooters. (My son, who is 17, does just fine however.) But I prefer the PC for those. And the PC is better for the LAN parties I regularly attend.
    I build my own boxes as well, and I have been a gamer since my Commodore VIC-20 I got in middle school in the early 80s. I never did have the Atari 2600 like everyone else I knew, my dad thought the Commodore would be better. (Although I did have one of the original PONG consoles.) And I eventually graduated to the C-64.

    I also have a coworker who is a gamer...at 67. And no Solitaire for him, he prefers shooters.