This post is part four of a series beginning with this post.
The above infographic is one I selected at random. I didn't need to cherry pick because there are many more like it, from various studies and sources. They all say the same thing. As people get older, they are continuing to play video games. The amount of adults who choose to play video games beyond their youth is clearly on the rise. Adults who believe video games are inherently childish and a waste of time, are in fact a dying breed of dinosaur thinkers. I'm looking forward to their extinction. Perhaps the best piece of news lately though, is the amount of women playing video games.
There has been an explosion in recent years concerning the amount of grown females who consider gaming a hobby. Here are some links to ponder: 1 | 2 | 3 No matter how you slice it, adult women are into gaming now more than ever. The reason this excites me, is it can lead to more diversification of gaming genres, and gameplay design. Indeed, many of my favorite video game designers have been female. Such as Rika Suzuki, Roberta Williams, and Rieko Kodama, to name just a few. Also I can tell you with full authority that playing co-op campaign games with your significant other is wonderful. So this is great news for video game loving men seeking video game loving women. Or video game loving women seeking video game loving women even. Anyway it's great to see the genders of this medium's demographic evolving beyond the "teenage boy" stereotype.
Another positive trend in gaming is the amount of money the industry is making. There's already been years where the video game industry has surpassed other entertainment mediums. And is forecast to continue doing so. This industry is so lucrative, states have begun adding special tax incentives to lure developers. It stands to reason that not only are more adults playing games, more adults are making their living making them. I believe in time this will lead to further maturation of the subject matter of game design. I wouldn't mind the lead protagonist in my next action adventure title being a middle aged man going through a midlife crisis.
Another interesting trend is the amount of senior citizens playing video games. Maybe this started with the Wii sports phenomenon? Science says video gaming is good for our elders though, and senior citizen retirement homes are aware of this. And so is Nintendo. Well I for one have amassed a backlog that I plan to play well into retirement, that's for sure.
Truly video gaming has never been more robust and widespread than it is today. Yet I still think we are far from populace saturation insofar as who can play, or what could be played. Regardless, the point of this series was to show how gaming started out as something that could be seen as childish, but has matured over time into a medium that any respectable adult should enjoy with impunity. The stereotypes of this hobby are slowly eroding to reveal as diverse a demographic as any other form of entertainment.
Video games are not for anyone, they are for everyone. If as a video game playing adult you are ever told you are ever wasting your life enjoying this hobby, remember this Ardent series and don't feel ashamed. Rather, feel empathetic embarrassment for the ignorance of the person who just said this to you. Why not invite them to try a game or two? They might just change their archaic opinion. Yes fellow gamers, we can erase the last remnants of this stigma, one convert at a time.