Video games bring entertainment to all, from grandpa playing video poker on his phone to a teenager on her Xbox. Sixty-seven percent of US households own a device that is used to play video games, according to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). While each generation has their own way of doing things, how they play video games is not as different as you might think.
Gen Z Teenagers (Age 13-17)
Generation Z represents 14 percent of mobile gamers, according to a recent report by Tapjoy, and 27 percent of all gamers, according to the (ESA). This digital native generation has never experienced the world without video games—a fact that that teenagers take full advantage of.
Pew Research found that 81 percent of teens age 13-17 either have or have access to a game console such as PlayStation, Xbox or Wii. Of those, 91 percent of teen boys own game consoles and 70 percent of teen girls say they have or have access to a console.
A study by YouGov found that video games were on the top of the “coolness scale” for teenagers, especially boys. So, what games do teens think are “lit?”
According to YouGov, the most popular video games with Gen Z are (in no particular order):
- The Legend of Zelda
- Call of Duty: Black Ops
- Grand Theft Auto
Millennials (Age 18-34)
According to Tapjoy, this segment represents 21 percent of mobile gamers and the largest segment (29 percent) of all gamers, per the ESA.
A Pew Research study found that 67 percent of respondents age 18-29 play video games, but only 22 percent of them say the term “gamer” describes them well. Men in this age group are more than three times as likely as their female counterparts to identify as gamers (33 percent versus nine percent).
Millennials play the most on mobile and tablets, according to a recent study by PayPal and SuperData, followed by PlayStation 4. The study also found that millennials prefer to play games in the action, shooter and strategy categories above all others.
Gen X (Age 35-54)
According to the ESA, the average gamer is 35 years old. This generation remembers when playing video games cost a quarter and home game consoles had wood paneling. Gen X represents 18 percent of all gamers (ESA) and 19 percent of mobile gamers, according to Tapjoy.
After mobile and tablets, consumers age 35 and over prefer to play on a PC, PayPal and SuperData found. This demographic’s favorite genres include action, puzzle and casino.
A study by Pew Research found that while playing video games is especially popular among young adults, a substantial number of older adults play video games as well. More than half (58 percent) of those ages 30-49 play video games, Pew found. Among this age group, men are twice as likely to identify as gamers than their female counterparts (15 percent versus seven percent).
Baby Boomers (Age 55+)
Consumers 55 and over represent 26 percent of all gamers, the ESA reports. At 23 percent, this age group represents the largest mobile gaming segment according to Tapjoy’s report The Changing Face of Mobile Gamers: What Brands Need to Know.
Despite this feat, just four percent of Americans over the age of 50 feel that the term “gamer” describes them well, Pew Research found. Labels aside, 40 percent of those ages 50-64 and 25 percent of those 65 or older play games.
While each generation has its own way of enjoying game sessions, two things remain the same: every age group plays mostly on mobile, and video games are for everyone.