A new research study from Pew Research has found that while about half of American adults play games on a computer, TV, game console, or mobile device, only 10% consider themselves to be “gamers.”

The study also found that men are twice as likely as women to call themselves “gamers,” despite the fact that equal numbers of men and women play games. Additionally, a majority of Americans (60%) believe that most people who play video games are men–a view that 57% of women who play video games share.

Among men ages 18 to 29, about a third (33%) say that the term “gamer” describes them well, versus only 9% of young women.

gaming study

This tells us a few interesting bits of info, but of most interest to me is how we can use this study to write better future surveys; if most people who play games do not consider themselves gamers, then we need to be careful not to address the audience as gamers, because the sample size in that case will be greatly diminished. It’s relevant in terms of gender, but also in terms of the general public; “gamer” may simply not be a useful designation, unless we’re specifically studying “those who identify themselves as gamers” instead of “those who play video games.”

The study also went into how the general public perceives game violence, whether games are a waste of time, and the differences in how gaming is perceived by those who play games versus those who don’t.

This article was written by

Keezy is a gamer, illustrator, and designer. Her background is in teaching and tutoring kids from ages 9 to 19, and she's led workshops for young women in STEM. She is also holds a certificate in teaching English. Her first memory of gaming is when her dad taught her to play the first Warcraft when she was five. You can find her at Key of Zee and on Twitter @KeezyBees.