Gamers Are Not Who You Think – You Might Even Be One

Cell phones and mobile gaming have gone together since the days of Blackberries and Brickbreaker. As an industry today, mobile gaming is much bigger than you think.

According to a 2018 Electronic Entertainment Design and Research study, 67% of Americans play video games on at least one platform, with 90% of those 211.2 million people citing mobile as their platform of choice. They play while their shower warms up, while they wait for the train to work, before bed… the list goes on.

And mobile gaming isn’t done growing. A recent report from Activision Blizzard Media and Newzoo predicts 2.4 billion people worldwide will play mobile games by 2020 (a 300MM person increase).

So who’s playing these games?

The gamer stereotype has evolved over the years from the quarter-carrying Pacman bro of the ‘80s to the Mario-obsessed kid of the ‘90s. Then around 2003, the stereotype settled firmly on this:

Pajamas? Check

Bed head? Check.

Hasn’t slept in 3 days and maintains a diet of Mountain Dew and Doritos? Check and check.

The truth is, the majority of gamers today are casual gamers who play on mobile. And the majority are women.

A 2019 Google Play Study shows that 43% of women play mobile games five times a week or more (vs. 38% of men). And yet even women who play games don’t think of themselves as gamers. 69% of women don’t identify with “mobile gamer” compared to 47% of men. Think about the number of moms annihilating people on Words With Friends right now. They wouldn’t call themselves gamers, yet they’re consistently playing games on their phones.

Games are now part of mainstream pop culture, and advertisers are only just starting to realize it. It’s time to move past the idea of gaming as a sunlight-averse Cheetos-dust covered teen shooting at zombies and accept the real world of mobile gaming.