Today it’s hard to define what makes a gamer. Of course, it was never that clearly defined; many people have all kinds of different interests, one of which happens to be playing video games on the console or computer. But today, those people who fall under the term ‘gamer’ might never have played on a console in their life – the only video games they may have experienced could be the downloadable gaming apps they’ve played on their phone.
Does that make them somehow less of a gamer than someone who buys the disc versions of games such as League of Legends or Call of Duty? Not according to two recent surveys which looked into gaming and online habits. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) in the US and the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) in the UK includes mobile gamers on a par with other types of gamers in their statistics.
Of course the range of games you can now play on a mobile is immense. From puzzler games and hand-eye coordination games, arcade-style retro games, through to real money games such as bingo and casino games, you could play ten new games a day and still never play all the games that are available. It took a while for the real money gaming sites such as Winner, Gala and Sky Bingo to bring their games to the mobile platforms, but now they’ve definitely caught up with all the non-money games apps. Just take a look at Winner Bingo’s online bingo games and you’ll see that you can be playing for real money on your phone in a couple of taps, using the same login that you’d use on the website.
The Internet Advertising Bureau survey questioned 4,000 people about their gaming choices. Its findings included a list of which games were the most popular. Trivia, puzzles and word games were the most popular (33% of respondents), followed by action/shooter games (18%). Gambling games, role-play and sports followed (10% each), then simulation (8%), driving (5%) and music and fitness (3% each). The survey also stated that 54% of respondents claimed that their mobile was their favourite device on which to game, and 25% of those respondents said they played on their mobiles every day.
The Entertainment Software Association had similar findings, with 44% of gamers playing on their mobiles. The report stated that casual gaming on mobile devices or online had increased markedly between 2012 and 2013. The most popular type of game was the range of social games which had increased in popularity by 55% in the same year. The types of mobile games that were played most frequently were (in descending order) casual/social games, puzzle, board game, game show, trivia and card games; action, strategy, role-play and sports; and persistent multi-player universe games.
Both reports showed an increase in the age of gamers, with the ESA suggesting that women aged 18 and over make up more than a third of the gaming population in the States. The IAB report found that of the 33.5 million gamers in Britain, 27% of these were over the age of 44 and made up a greater percentage of the gaming population than children and teens (22%).
It’s without doubt that mobiles have brought gaming experiences to many people who would never have sat down to play a console game. The ease with which you can play on a mobile, and the short amount of time that many of the games require must be contributing factors to the increase of gamers to the general population. Whether these casual gamers will start to play more traditional types of video games has yet to be seen.
Image source: by garryknight