Study shows dynamic and growing Indian gaming community

The gaming industry has changed globally at an exponential rate over the past five years that the face of gaming has transformed before our eyes, both literally and figuratively. The Indian digital gaming industry is growing rapidly, according to a recent KPMG report Indian online gaming industry will add 190 million gamers and become a USD one billion opportunity by 2021, from USD 290 million today.

Similarly, with PC gaming’s explosion of popularity have come many new hardware and software entrants, introducing innovation and developing an opportune industry, which has lured even more intrigued spectators into the gaming world.

As the figurative face of gaming has changed, so have people who think themselves as a “gamer.” Looking to set the record straight on the profile of today’s players, Dell partnered with a third-party research firm, Researchscape, to conduct an extensive online survey of 5,763 video game players from 11 countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, New Zealand, UK and U.S.) on today’s gaming habits, attitudes and the wider gaming community. To qualify for the study, respondents had to play videogames on desktops or laptops for at least one hour, a week. In India, 587 respondents participated and here are the findings:

Who is today’s gamer?

The survey results confirm today’s gamer is not the stereotypical teen loner playing in his parents’ basement. He’s a coworker with two kids, the woman at the gym, a fellow volunteer – and most commonly, a spouse, sibling or friend. But they all have in common that they proudly call themselves a “gamer”. Gone are the days that being called a “gamer” is derogatory.

1-KPMG

  • According to those surveyed, very few respondents feel either “judged,” (12%), “childish” (18%) or “embarrassed” (7%) on being called a “gamer”. Instead, they consider “gamer” a positive label and feel “smart” (55%), “cool” (55%), or “excited” (51%) as a result.

Through online platforms and social media, fueled by the popularity of esports and innovations in PC gaming rigs, the gaming community is growing in size, diversity and inclusiveness. Gamers are not shy about sharing their love of gaming with others and inviting others to share in the enjoyment.

  • 39% have introduced three to four friends or family members to gaming, and 40% have introduced five or more. With the accelerated pace at which gaming is going mainstream, it’s safe to bet those unfamiliar with gaming will start to see it pop up in their daily lives before they know it.

Why do people say they game?

  • People are increasingly turning to videogames for relaxation (58%) and playing with friends (58%) as well as relieving stress (51%). About 28% of gamers are not concerned with their skill level, yet ironically, no one likes to be identified as a “noob” (gamer code for the new kid on the block).
  • Just under 6% identified as noobs, while 13% consider themselves to be just beyond noob level; 28% identify as casual gamers, 37% as “pretty darn good”, and 17% feel they can compete with pro gamers.

A diverse community

Once the dominion of young men, gaming has become a welcoming community, accepting of whomever is behind the computer.

  • When it comes to being matched with rival gamers, culture/ethnicity (19%), political views (13%), and sexual orientation (15%) are for the most part inconsequential to a player. What matters most is the other gamer’s skill level (45%).
  • More than 80% of gamers said they do not care about the gender of the rivals they are matched with online, which could explain the sharp increase in female gamers in recent years. One in two players (52%) has a female friend who plays videogames.
  • Almost (48%) have a sister who plays, and 18% said their daughter does. Female gamers tend to breed other female gamers and are far more likely to have other women in their lives who also game than male gamers. (58%) women have women friends who are gamers while (46%) men have women friends who are gamers.

Debunked- Gamers do not have lives

Contrary to outdated stereotypes about the reclusive gamer, many lead busy lives with many outside interests.

  • When not gaming, their attention is spent on music (68%) and spending time with family (57%) or friends (57%). Traveling (56%) and reading and writing (40%) were also popular.
  • Gamers in Brazil (46%), China (46%), and India (41%) enjoy breaking a sweat to stay fit, while their American neighbors are almost as sports-mad as the PC gamers from India are (46% vs. 58%).

Gaming isn’t just playtime – it can also hone beneficial skills.

  • (50%) Indian gamers feel that gaming makes them a strategic thinker. They top the list when it comes to their counterparts in other countries like Brazil (43%), Australia and USA (42%). The consensus among the respondents was that gaming helped improve one’s cognitive abilities and skill development.
  • Of the gamers who spent anywhere between 10-40 hours gaming, 48% believed that their response to stimulus has increased and 49% agreeing that they were great at problem solving. 31% of gamers who gamed for 20-40 hours agreed to have an enhanced sense of peripheral vision and 51% believed that they had faster hand-eye coordination movements.

Gamers are willing to forego basic needs for the love of gaming

  • Gamers spend a median of six to nine hours per week playing video games with 23% spending 10-19 hours and 21% gamers spending 20 or more hours per week playing. Players say they know gaming is their priority when they feel like sacrificing sleep (37%) and eating (32%).
  • Yet today’s gamers are unlikely to skip out on social commitments for gaming, with less than one out of two saying they would bail on holiday celebrations (46%), a friend’s celebration (40%), a family birthday (36%), or a professional sporting event (26%) to game instead.
  • Indian gamers are willing to give up candy/sweets (34%), their favorite television show (35%) and social media (37%) to play games. As might be expected, younger gamers (39 years and younger) are willing to give more things up than those 40 and up.
  • While skill level is important, losing is not the end of the world. Only 35% Indian gamers said that losing an intense match is worse than a low battery, 35% that it is worse than traffic jams, and 30% that it is worse than a cold shower.

Hardware preferences/choices of today’s gamers and the virtual future of gaming

  • Even with the availability of multiple gaming devices, Desktops are the most preferred device by Indian gamers (68%) with Dell being a preferred choice of laptop for Indian gamers.
  • With an upward growth in VR and AR gaming in India, VR compatible devices are being readily accessible to people. More and more gamers are opting in for the virtual reality experience. When asked what they think about the future of gaming, nearly half of the Indian gamers said that new hardware and graphics innovation VR (48%) and virtual arcades (31%) excites them.

Annexure

Survey methodology

Researchscape conducted an online survey of 5,763 videogame players, age 14-87, from 11 countries (India, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, UK and U.S.) and in six languages in order to better understand gaming habits, attitudes and the wider gaming community. In India 587 respondents took the survey. To qualify for the study, respondents had to play videogames on desktops or laptops and had to play for at least an hour a week. They did not need to identify as gamers, and 7% said they did not. The survey was fielded from Dec. 9, 2017, to Jan. 30, 2018.

Nearly half of respondents were in their 20s (26%) or 30s (22%); 12% were teenagers (14-17). Gamers were split nearly evenly male (52%) and female (47%). Many were married and living with a spouse (42%) or a partner (15%), and half had children or stepchildren (52%).

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