Younger Gen Z gamers spend more time playing than older ones, right? Not necessarily. The answers from a new ExpressVPN study on gamer habits aren’t as obvious as you might think.
First of all, what defines both demographics? Well, millennials are generally defined as those aged in their late 20s to early 40s, born between the early ’80s to the mid-’90s, who grew up in the millennium (the year 2000).
‘Zoomers’, aka Generation Z, or Gen Z gamers, are those born after millennials, around the late ’90s to the early 2010s, and are typically in their early 20s.
Do Millennials play more video games than Gen Z gamers?
According to ExpressVPN’s survey, Millennials do, in fact, spend more time gaming than Gen Z gamers. The study also found that gamers in their 30s and 40s are more likely to play video games daily than other generations.
68% of millennials said they play games daily, compared to 58% of Gen Z gamers in their 20s.
In addition, more millennial gamers than Zoomers said they spend a whole day gaming each week.
And, although gamers in the survey’s oldest age group (46 to 55) are less likely to play games daily, more of them admit to spending 24+ hours playing video games in a single session!
The data shows that millennials are likely to play video games regularly and for more extended periods of time.
They also have a stronger emotional connection to video games and use it as a form of stress relief.
Millennials are also, in general, more likely than Gen Z gamers to have higher-paid full-time jobs, and many Zoomers are still students due to their younger age.
A third of millennials also said they’re ready to spend $50 to $100 on a single in-game purchase, with almost one in five surveyed having no issue spending $100+.
So while the difference between millennials and Gen Z gamers isn’t substantial, it does show a difference between the two demographics of gamers.
While there are differences between demographics, these are to be celebrated. Check out Esports News UK’s own boomer and Zoomer podcast series to see the views of a Gen Z gamer in the esports industry and an older millennial.
Esports team Ninjas in Pyjamas weigh in on the data
ExpressVPN also got the thoughts of Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP) CSGO players.
Female CSGO player Mayline-Joy ‘Astra’ Champliaud said that professional players ‘generally have 6,000 hours of play time behind them’. In theory, someone who spends 24 hours gaming each week could become a pro in 4.8 years, according to data, but in practice, of course, it’s different.
Many pro players practice every day, and getting the balance right between scrimming and downtime is a challenge for many pro, semi-pro, and other competitive esports players out there. Many pro players are also Gen Z gamers, with some top players hitting their peak in their late teens and early 20s.
Fellow NiP CSGO player Aleksi ‘Aleksib’ Virolainen added: “I feel like gaming is definitely a mainstream thing for younger kids because it’s so much easier for them to play them.
“I’m related to kids who are four years old who already play games on an iPad—something I didn’t do when I was their age because I never had access.”
Dom is an award-winning writer and finalist of the Esports Journalist of the Year 2023 award. He graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Federation up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and offer esports consultancy and freelance services. Note: Dom still produces the British Esports newsletter on a freelance basis, so our coverage of British Esports is always kept simple – usually just covering the occasional press release – because of this conflict of interest.