By Meredith Worrilow, Global Business Marketing, Measurement, and Insights Director, Activision Blizzard Media
Who do you picture when you think of a gamer? If you thought of a young, headset-wearing male playing on a console in his parents’ basement, you wouldn’t be alone. But this stereotype of gamers couldn’t be further from the truth.
There are over 2.7 billion gamers globally and making up a significant proportion of gamers is an unexpected but growing audience group – mums. Not only do mums play video games, but they also love playing them and see gaming as an important part of their lives.
Historically, women gamers, and especially mums, have been written out of the narrative around gaming. The discourse around women and gaming has typically focused on mobile phones, and this behavior, deemed casual gaming, has given the sense that women were not true “gamers”.
Activision Blizzard Media took a closer look at this audience group, conducting a consumer research study to get a more complete picture of gamer mums and why they are so important for brands.
Most mums are gamers
Gamer mums are most certainly not in the minority. The research revealed that over two-thirds of mums play video games, yet of this group, only 48 percent of mum gamers actually describe themselves as gamers.
Gamer mums play on different platforms
The growth of mobile gaming has increased the accessibility of gaming for women, lowering the barrier to entry by removing the need to purchase additional hardware to play and making it easy to discover new titles. Over 90 percent of gamer mums play mobile games at least weekly, and about 74 percent play mobile games daily.
However, gamer mums are not only playing on their phones. The majority of gamers are playing on mobile and at least one other platform (console or PC). They’re spending many hours each week playing games, including big Triple-A action2 and MMORPG3 titles, and 61 percent of these multi-platform mums self-identify as gamers.
The gamer mum audience is diverse
Just as there is no typical ‘gamer’, there is no typical ‘gamer mum.’ The segment is made up of a rich kaleidoscope of women with different motivations and preferences for games. While some mums, particularly mums that only play on mobile, see gaming as a mostly solitary activity, others view it as a social activity that helps them stay close to their family and friends.
Gaming fosters a sense of connection
The joy that gamer mums get from entertainment goes beyond the individual experience. Gamer mums believe entertainment technology is bringing people closer together, more so than their non-gaming counterparts. This feeling of connection extends into the family. Gamer mums outpace non-gamer mums in their hopefulness for their children’s future. They are also more likely to feel they can easily relate to their children. For gamer mums, gaming is a connective tissue in their relationships with their kids – the more they game, the more they can relate to their children.
Gamer mums have purchase influence
The purchasing power of mums has long been recognized by brands, but reaching them hasn’t always been clear-cut. Gaming represents a unique opportunity for brands to tap into the key household decision-makers when they are highly engaged, receptive to advertising and in a positive mindset.
Once gamer mums have found something new that they love, they’re more likely to share it. They are more engaged with brands on social media and more likely to recommend those brands to their friends and family than non-gamer mums. Beyond unparalleled levels of engagement, gamer mums are very active among their peers, offering recommendations, tips and even sharing brand posts they like within their networks.
Activision Blizzard Media, in partnership with independent research agency Alter Agents, conducted a quantitative research study among 25-54-year-old women who have at least one child at home under the age of 18. The online-based study surveyed 4,002 gamer mums and 3,200 non-gamer mums, split equally across the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Germany. The methodology, questionnaire, and analysis were conducted by Alter Agents.