Researchers undertake a large-scale study of sports video game players

Dec 13, 2012

From Gran Turismo to WWE Smackdown, sports-based video games represent a wide variety of pursuits. When it comes to the people who actually play those games, however, little is known. How do sports video game players fit their games into a larger sports-related context? How does their video game play inform their media usage and general sports fandom?

That's what Concordia University communications professor Mia Consalvo sought to discover when she embarked on a large-scale study of players, the results of which were recently published in Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies.

Along with Abe Stein and Konstantin Mitgutsch from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Consalvo, who also holds a Canada Research Chair in Game Studies and Design, conducted an of 1,718 participants to pin down demographics, habits, attitudes and activities of sports video game players.

They found that the majority of those who play sports video games are male (98.4 per cent), white (80 per cent) and in their mid-20s (average of 26 years). In comparison with other representative demographics, the field is less diverse and the average player is younger. Based on the data about the larger game-playing population, it seems that the sports gamers are drawn from a more traditional demographic of game players, at least when it comes to console and certain personal computer-based video games.

"Perhaps one of the biggest findings to emerge from this study is unsurprising, but finally documented," notes Consalvo. "The overwhelming majority of sports gamers' – 93.3 per cent – self-identify as . That identity pushes beyond the playing of sports-themed video games. Attending , watching them on television, participating in those activities themselves as well as following certain teams or sports were regular parts of their daily lives."

Consalvo says that she still hopes to discover more insights into why there is little diversity in the player demographics, and why female players are in a minority. Says Consalvo, "while this study provides new insights into who sports video are and what they play and why, we still lack knowledge on how these players relate their passion for video games to their sports fandom in general." She hopes to address these questions in her forthcoming book, co-authored with Stein and Mitsgutsch, titled Sports Videogames.

Explore further: New poll reveals what Americans fear most

More information: Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies con.sagepub.com/

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NBC Sports partners with Yahoo for content deal

Dec 10, 2012

(AP)—NBC Sports Group and Yahoo announced a content and promotional deal that combines the website's sports reporting, college recruitment content and fantasy sports material with its partner's digital assets and television ...

John Madden welcomes Favre, Vick to his video game

Aug 21, 2009

(AP) -- It's been a busy week in professional football, with a couple of big, controversial stars - Brett Favre and Michael Vick - joining NFL rosters. No worries, though, for John Madden, because both men ...

UQ study confirms dangers of violent video games

Oct 31, 2011

(Medical Xpress) -- New research by Dr. Brock Bastian from UQ's School of Psychology has found evidence that playing violent video games leads players to see themselves, and their opponents, as lacking in core human qualities ...

Recommended for you

Combating bullying in New Zealand

1 hour ago

Victoria University of Wellington's Accent Learning is rolling out a new bullying prevention programme for schools—a first for the Southern Hemisphere.

Why has Halloween infiltrated Australian culture?

3 hours ago

Halloween appears to have infiltrated Australian culture, and according to a University of Adelaide researcher, the reason for its increasing popularity could run much deeper than Americanisation.

The hidden world of labor trafficking

4 hours ago

When it comes to human trafficking, we often hear about victims being kidnapped or violently taken from their homes. But what about people who are forced into labor in the U.S.?

New poll reveals what Americans fear most

23 hours ago

Chapman University has initiated the first comprehensive nationwide study on what strikes fear in Americans in the first of what is a planned annual study. According to the Chapman poll, the number one fear in America today ...

Study shows how texas campus police tackle stalking

23 hours ago

One out of every five female students experience stalking victimization during their college career, but many of those cases are not reported to police, according to a study by the Crime Victims' Institute ...

User comments : 0