Statsthought: 7.1

This is the percentage of nine- to 13-year-old Canadians who answered 'I do not play videogames' in a recent survey. If you're looking at males only in this age bracket the number goes down to an infinitesimal 1.2% (12.9% for female tweens) and, looking at the entire nine- to 34-year-old spread, we see basic engagement levels of 75%.

This is the percentage of nine- to 13-year-old Canadians who answered ‘I do not play videogames’ in a recent survey. If you’re looking at males only in this age bracket the number goes down to an infinitesimal 1.2% (12.9% for female tweens) and, looking at the entire nine- to 34-year-old spread, we see basic engagement levels of 75%.

Ladies and gentlemen, effective immediately, please banish any lingering assertions that videogaming is still some sort of bastion for a ‘certain type of young person.’ It’s about as bonafide a mainstream diversion as can be found in contemporary society. Yet, for those striving to weave communications goals into a pop cultural landscape, it’s still treated as some kind of weird and foreign place by many of our kin. The pop heft of gaming is, quizzically, absent from the strategic vision of so many campaigns, despite the fact that the demographics and psychographics gaming now represents are just about as diverse as the population itself.

What’s up with that?

Whatever the reasons, and there could be many including the dominance of ‘casual gamers’ and the genre still skewing male, I think the answer lies mostly in a still-persistent misunderstanding of the genre.

This attitude is surely going to change as the lines continue to blur between consumer and creator, the imagined worlds of Hollywood and the imagined worlds of gaming, and between the ‘virtual’ and the ‘real.’

Boot up and enjoy.

Editor’s note: Stay tuned to Mediaincanada.com for Youthography dispatches from the gaming event of the year, the E3 Expo in L.A., in early June.

This ‘statsthought’ gleaned from ‘Ping’ – Youthography’s quarterly national study of Canadians aged nine to 34 – was culled from a survey fielded in winter 2008 with 2,204 9 to 34 year olds; regionally represented. Mike Farrell (partner, chief strategic officer) can be reached at mike@youthography.com.