It’s a curious thing: not all role players consider themselves gamers. Certainly not all gamers consider themselves role-players. And yet, the common ground these two groups share is growing daily. Not only that, they are increasingly looking like the average person on the street, or the “real person” on Facebook, especially in the United States where more than two-thirds of all American households play computer or video games, according to statistics provided by the Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA).
Not surprisingly, video gamers are younger than the median age (36) in the U.S. What might surprise some it that the average gamer is 34 years old and more than a quarter of all gamers are over the age if 50. Neither is gaming a new adventure. The average game player has been playing games for 12 years.
Most gamers are still men, according to the EMA, however, 40 percent are female. There are more females than males in the U.S. as a whole according to the 2010 Census figures.
Gaming, especially video gaming is big business. The EMA reports that 46 million American households have a console video game. Although sales slowed in 2009, $6.6 billion in video game hardware and $10.5 billion in console, portable and PC game software were still sold. Consumer spending on other game channels such as used games, rentals, subscriptions, digital full game downloads, downloadable content and mobile game app totaled more than $4.5 billion in 2009.
Massively multi-player games attracted 21 million Americans who spent nearly $4.0 billion through monthly and annual subscriptions, virtual currency, direct micro-transactions and boxed product/client downloads.
So gamers and role-player are not as weird or unusual as some people would like them to be. In fact, if you step outside and look around chances are you will see quite a few and not even realize it. One of them may even be you.