Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Everyone plays video games"--NOT!

I occasionally read someone write that "everyone plays video games now". I suppose this is to contrast with "the old days" when video gaming was unusual, and the players felt they were somehow exceptional.

But it's the long-time video game fans writing this stuff. Even now, "everyone plays video games" is not even close to true. The Entertainment Software Association's own promotional literature says 68% of US households play video games. That leaves 32% that don't. And that's in the US, still a relatively rich nation where people can "waste" money on game consoles and PCs-for-leisure.

Not so many years ago, it made sense to say "half the people in the world have never placed a phone call". They might have talked on the phone after someone else placed the call in some village out in the sticks. I suspect phones are much more common now, but game consoles and PCs are still expensive luxury devices in much of the world.

So, while we probably can no longer say "half the people in the world have never placed a phone call", I'd guess that far more than half the people in the world rarely, if ever, play video games.

Even in the US, probably a third to a half the population rarely, if ever, play video games. The ESA quotes CBS Evening News as saying "A new study found that more than half of adults play video games, about one-fifth play daily or almost every day.”

Sorry, more than half isn't anywhere near "everyone". Get a grip on reality, get out of your insular point of view.


DoxaLogos said...

I've been reading most of your blog today for the first time, and all I can say is, "You really need to think about writing book on game design!" Good stuff.

Lewis said...

I have written one (not finished, but longer than the target length). Almost had one of the big three publishes, now beginning to look for someone else.

DoxaLogos said...

Great! I'll be sure to get a copy when it comes out.