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Video game players are more social, educated than non-players - study
Video game players are more social, educated than non-players - study
June 5, 2014 | By Mike Rose

June 5, 2014 | By Mike Rose
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing

A new U.S. study commissioned by streaming platform Twitch has found that people who play games are generally more successful, more optimistic and better educated than those people who do not.

In a study from LifeCourse Associates, the company surveyed 1,227 Americans aged between 13-64 in a bid to discover the social differences between people who play games and people who don't.

The report found that people who play games tend to be more educated, with 43 percent of players surveyed holding a college degree or higher, versus 36 percent for non-players.

And people who play games are slightly more likely to be employed full-time and be in a job that they actually like, with 45 percent agreeing with this sentiment compared to 37 percent for non-players. Notably, 67 percent of players said they felt positive about their future career, versus 42 percent of non-players.

But it's the social implications that are perhaps the most interesting, as players tend to believe that they are having a positive impact on society and the people around them far more than people who don't play games.

Twitch charts
Seventy-six percent of players said that having a positive impact on the world around them was important, versus 55 percent for non-players, while 61 percent of players said they felt like "a natural leader" compared to 35 percent of non-players.

Players surveyed also said they lead more social lives that non-players. Fifty-seven percent agreed with the statement, "My friends are the most important thing in my life," compared to 35 percent of non-players, while 82 percent said spending time with their families was important, versus 68 percent of non-players.

"The old stereotype of the solitary geek gamer is over," said Neil Howe, the researcher behind the report. "It turns out gamers today are more educated, optimistic, socially conscious, and connected to friends and family than non-gamers."

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Fabian Fischer
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Thanks for drawing attention to this, Mike!

Those findings are very consistent with what self-determination psychologists found out about the main motivators of gameplay: autonomy (having a choices), competence (being good and getting better at something), relatedness (mattering to others and making a difference). You can read more about it in various papers, and even here on Gamasutra in this excellent article:

Also, there's the popular book "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People", and not too surprisingly these behaviors align pretty much completely with good and deep gameplay: be proactive (make decisions, take risks, that's what games are about), begin with the end in mind (without a goal, actions have no meaning in a game), put first things first (games rely on increasing cycles of expertise), think win-win (cooperative games are based on that principle), understand before being understood (communication is a main factor in e.g. MMOs), synergize (we all know the trinity of "healer, tank, damage dealer"), sharpen the saw (becoming a better being, as described above, is probably the main motivator of games).

That's why books like "Got Game: How the Gamer Generation is Reshaping Business Forever" or "Don't Bother Me Mom - I'm Learning" make a whole lot of sense.
Serious gamers constantly train themselves to learn and think effectively and efficiently.

Damon Tabb
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Just playing Devil's advocate here: the study doesn't seem to account for economic factors, at least from the synopsis shown here. If we make a (completely unfounded) assumption that the majority of families that didn't have video games in the house didn't because they were unable to afford a PC or game console, it's possible that there is a correlation between the "less educated less happy" kids who didn't play video games and their economic status. This also would assume that kids facing harsher economic conditions are less likely to receive the same education as other, more fortunate kids, and that, in general, living a life in poverty conditions kind of sucks, and that kids living in those conditions are probably not as happy.

Shea Rutsatz
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Don't forget better looking.

Michael O'Hair
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I wonder if the study results were partially pooled specifically from's stream monsters. Interesting folks. Kappa.

Daniel Gutierrez
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I'm just going to leave this here...
(note: people who play games generally come from a higher socio-economic strata... but hey, correlations are good enough when trying to make your target feel better about themselves)

Also 1,227 across 50 years of age across the country with no cohort analysis is an incredibly lazy data collection & lazy data analysis...

Greg Scheel
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More educated, cuz you need a computer to play video games.
College degree, cuz you need a computer to play video games.
Employed, because computers cost money.

And, definitely better looking, cuz. :P

Jacob Crane
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Are we only talking about Video games? Because while the title is "video gamers" the statistics are labeled games.

Chess is a game, requires little to no money to create your own board.

I am slightly confused due to how the title is specific to video games but the rest seems to be more generically referring to gamer as only video game players.

Just saying, though it is not specifically mentioned here, I believe games might be referring of all types not specifically video games. If this is true, this would greatly reduce the socio-economic difference playing a major part in the study.