Gamer Demographics

If you read NPC, you probably already know that more adults and females play video games than is generally thought by mainstream society. But it’s always nice to have the facts to back that up. The Entertainment Software Association recently published a beautifully designed pdf of a demographic study of gamers and the games we play. This little tidbit surprised even me:

Women age 18 or older represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (37%) than boys age 17 or younger (13%)

I was a little bummed to see this:

Some of the top reasons why gamers purchase a computer or video game: quality of game graphics, an interesting storyline, a sequel to a favorite game, word of mouth.

I get that that’s true, but I’m disappointed there’s no mention of game mechanics or unique gameplay. Are most gamers really just interested in nice graphics and existing properties? At least game sequels have a better track record of being high quality than many movie sequels.

What do you think about the study? Anything surprise you?

E3 2011

Have you been keeping up with E3? I haven’t kept on top of all the news from the demo floor, but I watched the big three keynotes from Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony. Here’s a list of a few things that I’m especially interested in:

Minecraft for Xbox. I’m skeptical that I’ll like playing my latest addiction on the big screen/console. Especially because I usually like to have the tv on in the background while I play. Can’t do that if I’m actually playing on the tv! But I’m super interested to see how it works and if it expands the market of Minecraft players.

Dance Central 2. I really like Dance Central, but the two big things that are lacking are a campaign mode like in Rock Band, and simultaneous multiplayer dancing. Sounds like the sequel will have both.

Nintendo Wii U. I know the U is supposed to be “You” or “Utopia” etc. But I keep thinking of it as Wii University. I’ve had a Wii since launch, but I’m still not a fan of their naming conventions. Oh well. I think the new touch screen controller looks pretty interesting. If the price is right, I may buy this one at launch too.

PlayStation Vita. I didn’t expect to be interested in the new PlayStation portable, but I have to admit I kind of want this. I don’t have a PSP. I love playing games on the iPad and iPhone, but I miss the lack of different kinds of controls. The sticks, buttons, back trackpad, and touchscreen on the Vita seem like there could be a lot of different gameplay possibilities. The big downside? Gaming on iOS has me trained that $10 is expensive for a handheld game. So shelling out $40 (I’m assuming) for Vita games may be tough for me to swallow.

Dust514. I haven’t played EVE Online. I’m interested, but haven’t scraped the time together to try it out. This could be my entry to that universe I’ve been curious about. It’s a scifi shooter that will somehow hook into EVE from the PS3. Plus it’s from Iceland, a country I recently visited and have a special place in my heart for. :)

There are a slew of other games that piqued my interest. Star Trek: Infinite Space, Ruin, Mass Effect 3, Torchlight 2 to name a few.

I’m anxious to hear what you guys think about the recent announcements from E3! Favorites? Duds? Too busy playing everything from last year’s announcements?