Gaming isn't just for kids

Despite the emergence of smartphones and tablets, computer games continue to be a strong retail market. One reason for this is manufacturers have been able to grow their audience while retaining consumers from an early age. The latest insights from Kantar Media's Great Britain and Youth TGI surveys reveal the extent of influence that gaming has amongst adults and children.

The console gaming population of adults is six times larger than that of youths. 76% of British kids aged 7-14 play console games, compared to 55% of British adults. One reason why the proportion for adults may be so high is because when children get hooked to console gaming in their youth, they continue to play well into adulthood and over time this dramatically increases the proportion of adults who are into gaming.

Another possibility is price. The latest Xbox One is just shy of £400, while games for the console average about £40. Adults with expendable income can afford the latest consoles and games, while parents may not have the will to (or be able to) continue replacing the technology to satisfy their children. Despite the grand marketing efforts of Sony and Microsoft during their recent console releases, Nintendo still reigns supreme when it comes to ownership among both adults and children as their favourite console. 53% of adults and 64% of youths respectively prefer Nintendo Wii.

With the addition of online play, console gaming has become an intrinsically social activity. It makes sense, therefore, that TGI reveals the attitudes and habits of adult gamers are also very socially-oriented. This group is 40% more likely than the average British adult to check social networking sites every day. They also like to party. Adult gamers are 41% more likely than the average to really enjoy going out to get drunk.

Besides youth, marketers of console gaming also tend to concentrate their targeting efforts on men rather than women. But with 12.3 million British females playing console games, half of the penetration of adult gamers, marketers would do well to learn more about how female gamers tick in order to appeal to this potentially very lucrative group. Because of the competitive nature of most computer games, female gamers are competitive in nature and very ambitious. Indeed, TGI reveals they are 31% more likely than the average British woman to aspire to get to the very top in their career as well as to set up their own business one day.

Despite hiding in front of a screen on occasion, this group is particularly conscious of their looks. They are 21% more likely than the average British female to want to stand out in a crowd. They are also 32% more likely to consider having cosmetic surgery.

For marketers looking to target adult gamers, it would be smart to look to the Internet. Gamers are 29% more likely than the average to be amongst the highest one fifth of Internet consumers. Using the latest data from TGI Clickstream, a unique survey that monitors online behaviour with the use of a passive meter, marketers can delve further into console gamers' habits to know exactly where to target them as they surf the web. Knowing their penchant for social media, marketers should directly appeal to gamers on Facebook and Twitter. Gamers spend an average of 19.5 minutes on Facebook per session. In comparison, they spend an average of 67.4 minutes on Twitter every four weeks.

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