Corporate America is finally acknowledging what many youth marketers have known for years: that the potential of the video gaming industry is huge and not necessarily sequestered to a geek teen subculture. Video games are a $9.4 billion dollar business in the U.S. , larger than the movie business, and had $414.1 million spent on advertising in 2003 alone.
Based on our North American Youth Culture Study, the most hardcore sect of video gamers is 18-24-years-old. Our data also indicates why young people play video games and which titles they prefer to play the most, as well as how they rank playing video games compared to engaging in other forms of entertainment. For example, video games and the internet are more important than TV to a large sector of this demographic, particularly younger demographics. Understanding such factors are key brands looking to latch onto the freshest subculture in entertainment.
Some of these brands already involved in video gaming include the Army, McDonald’s, Butterfinger, AT&T Wireless, Nike, Nokia, and many different action sports shoe companies who have showcased their professionally sponsored athletes in various video gaming titles. Action sports athletes are the fastest rising category of characters that young people most want to play, including snowboarders, skateboarders, surfers, BMX riders, and freestyle motocross bikers.
The video gaming market in our primary data has grown and changed in the past 4 years, mainly with the increase in females playing video games (particularly action sports titles), and the increase in cell phone games. 67% of 13-24-year-olds play video games, however 48% of females do not play video games compare with 19.1% of males.
While one-third of video gamers are female, many females tell us that their first introduction to video gaming is often from their brother’s or boyfriend’s video game collection. Based on our research and also studies of gaming institutes, video game types have a strong correlation to one’s gender. In other words, there’s the probability that one affects the other and there is a dependency on the two. Like automotive purchases and music preferences, the kind of video game one likes also taps into the psychodemographics of the person being asked—in this case, their gender.
For females, the character they’re playing is vital to whether they’re going to play a video game or not. Lack of relatable video game heroes is one main reason females tell us they don’t play video games. They want someone who represents a stronger, cooler version of themselves, however rarely do they feel they have female characters that reflect their vision of their “hero,” often stating that the female character is “just a young male-fantasy female hero.” So, they simply play with what’s available or the male characters that are most like themselves.
Clearly, one of the most wide-open territories for growth in the video gaming marketplace is among females, ages 13-24.
For more information about Video Gaming and gender influences in North America , Europe , and Japan youth markets,, contact us at email@example.com.; (310) 279-5020.