12.13.12

Think gamers are all white and male? Well, you're wrong, unless you're thinking of sports gamers

Yes, yes, we know the stereotypes: gamers are young white guys living in various lair-like setups featuring complicated chairs with speakers in them. While the rise of casual gaming and the proliferation of games for many different audiences has revealed this view as the relic it is, there is one segment of gamers that seems to fit that mold perfectly: sports gamers.

A Concordia University study published recently in Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies found that

the majority of those who play sports video games are male (98.4 per cent), white (80 per cent) and in their mid-20s (average of 26 years). In comparison with other representative video game player demographics, the field is less diverse and the average player is younger. Based on the data about the larger game-playing population, it seems that the sports gamers are drawn from a more traditional demographic of game players, at least when it comes to console and certain personal computer-based video games.

Why is this? Well, start with a pursuit that, while diversifying, is still gendered male. Then add the fact that over 90 percent of the study subjects - sports game players - identify as sports fans, a group that is also demographically slanted towards men. Still, that percentage, 98.4, is crazily high. So what is the hidden factor? Why do so few women play sports games?