Gamers Tend to Be More Libertarian, According to Survey

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Gamers Tend to Be More Libertarian, According to Survey

The survey shows that gamers are more likely to back new technologies and are hesitant to support government regulations.

Perhaps it's the many years of being threatened with bans and censors, but apparently, gamers are pretty suspicious of government involvement. According to a recently survey conducted by Reason Magazine, those who play video games are less likely to support government regulations on things like online gambling, marijuana, and 3D printed guns than non-gamers.

When it comes to party affiliation, the survey showed that gamers (who comprise 57% of the population) are more likely to be liberal-leaning independents. However, when asked about specific issues, they generally opposed government involvement. For every controversial topic in the survey, like buying genetic testing kits, caffeinated energy drinks (which are on the chopping block), online gambling, and drugs, gamers were far less likely to support bans or regulations. The largest gap was Bitcoin. Where only 30% of non-gamers support the use of the electronic currency, 55% of gamers did. According to Reason, the majority of both groups admit to having very little knowledge of Bitcoin, implying that gamers seem to be less likely to ban things that are weird or different.

This mistrust of the government was also seen in a question about policing power. When asked if most police officers are generally held accountable for misconduct, gamers answered no 63% of the time. Compare this to the non-gamer population, which was almost split on the issue (with 51% saying yes).

Other findings of the survey are pretty obvious. For example, gamers are far more excited about new technologies like drone deliveries. There were a few other surprises, however, such as the fact that a fifth of all gamers are over the age of 55.

Source: Reason Magazine

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1: Nobody, regardless of political affiliations, actually likes having things they like regulated. Regulation has a stigma about it that makes people associate it with censorship (usually for good reason).

2: Of course the libertarian magazine says the big market group (which is growing up, becoming more mainstream and has been old enough to vote in elections) leans libertarian.

3: One of the big things gamers are talking about is Net Neutrality. Almost all gamers are in favor of it, despite that fact that it's the FCC regulating the internet. The entire reason we're having this debate is because we know just how badly "the market" would handle things if left to their own devices. When it comes to something that might actually affect them personally, we get to see how "libertarian" gamers really are.

I try to be as centrist as possible. I believe in the free market correcting itself whenever possible but hate it when capitalism gets too greedy and out of control, that's when I believe the government needs to step in with the appropriate regulations. It's a fine balancing act where all sides have to be considered and the bullshit needs to be thrown out.

IanDavis:

There were a few other surprises, however, such as the fact that a fifth of all gamers are over the age of 55.

Holy shit, really?

Libertarians tend to be more defined by which government regulations etc they oppose. A fair bit of the ones listed there don't seem to be the main ones you see libertarians talking about. Are those *really* the core libertarian values? Those are the ones you want to look at.

Interesting. I'm not really surprised by the finding of the survey... but there is a deeper core value to being Libertarian rather than typical mistrust of government. Don't dumb it down like that, it's partially insulting while being completely ignorant about a political idea.

Edit: Also, I'm not so sure about this because I'm having trouble understanding the way it's written. Left leaning liberal is NOT Libertarian, but it sounds like that is what they mean when they say libertarian.

Mr. Omega:
1: Nobody, regardless of political affiliations, actually likes having things they like regulated. Regulation has a stigma about it that makes people associate it with censorship (usually for good reason).

Except for important things, like Medicine. You know, things that you want to have enough regulation that you can expect to get something reliable.

I guess you could get unregulated medicine, if that's your thing.

Elective polls sponsored by a libertarian magazine that doesn't discuss their sampling method.
Interesting, but potentially skewed.

Nowhere Man:
I try to be as centrist as possible. I believe in the free market correcting itself whenever possible but hate it when capitalism gets too greedy and out of control, that's when I believe the government needs to step in with the appropriate regulations. It's a fine balancing act where all sides have to be considered and the bullshit needs to be thrown out.

IanDavis:

There were a few other surprises, however, such as the fact that a fifth of all gamers are over the age of 55.

Holy shit, really?

You know, I'm not that surprised. Apparently the Wii, in particular the Wii fit, was hot shit among older players and became a fixture in many nursing homes.

Lotet:

Mr. Omega:
1: Nobody, regardless of political affiliations, actually likes having things they like regulated. Regulation has a stigma about it that makes people associate it with censorship (usually for good reason).

Except for important things, like Medicine. You know, things that you want to have enough regulation that you can expect to get something reliable.

I guess you could get unregulated medicine, if that's your thing.

I admit I phrased it badly, but most people aren't exactly passionate about medicine the way gun enthusiasts or gamers are. People usually don't mind regulation, but when something they like might be regulated, it's all fire and brimstone.

I'm in favor of regulation, but it's something that tends to drive people nuts.

IanDavis:

You know, I'm not that surprised. Apparently the Wii, in particular the Wii fit, was hot shit among older players and became a fixture in many nursing homes.

Oh yeah. I forgot about the Wii! Good on Nintendo and the older players I say.

Nowhere Man:
I try to be as centrist as possible. I believe in the free market correcting itself whenever possible but hate it when capitalism gets too greedy and out of control, that's when I believe the government needs to step in with the appropriate regulations. It's a fine balancing act where all sides have to be considered and the bullshit needs to be thrown out.

IanDavis:

There were a few other surprises, however, such as the fact that a fifth of all gamers are over the age of 55.

Holy shit, really?

That shouldn't surprise anyone actually. Look at it this way, I'm 38 and grew up gaming. Who was it that bought my first computers and got interested in them? That's right, my parents. My father and stepmother both game (albeit they dislike consoles). That whole backbone of people who started buying computers to get it going tended to stay involved with computers and even the entertainment applications as time went on. It's just fairly recent that you've started to see computers becoming mainstream.

To be honest a fifth of gamers being over 55 is probably conservative when you get down to it. One also has to understand that this is at it's root why you see so much resistance to corporate marketing, references to how things previously worked, and of course anger over the neglect of game generas that got people involved in gaming and kept
them there. It's just that corporations are entirely interested in the biggest portion of the youth movement nowadays, things like deep,crunchy turn based RPGs and the like that have been staples for a long time to older gamers (my generation, as well as my parents) and the demand remains high because we're all still out there, it's just nobody is content to make a fair profit for a fair amount of work, everyone wants the next "Call Of Dude" and to have the lowest common denominator eating out of their hand since it outnumbers everyone else.

With all the complaints about kids online, and people acting like Grognards, it also shouldn't be a shock that a lot of people aren't kids and are indeed in many cases actually Grognards. :)

I'm a socialist, and I'm pretty sure most people are gamers. From sudoku playing grandmothers to teenage shits screaming obscenities into their xboxes.

Yeah, "in the US" should be in the title somewhere.

Proud (Realistic) Libertarian Gamer here! Although this poll might be skewed due to the site...

That sounds about right to me, always see regulation working against them and their hobby. Also this very libertarian fear of the slippery slope of government control mirrors trends like DRM and F2P in the industry. But I think it also runs deeper. I think that quite often games tend to bring out peoples desires for personal freedom and empowerment in one way or another.

But in that way I would also say that in general America's core values tend to fall on the libertarian side both on the right and left of the political spectrum. Even Elizabeth Warren isn't promoting a communist society where everyone earns the same wage, and while redistribution in itself goes against libertarian values, the language of equality of opportunity seems quite in line with libertarian beliefs.

I think Libertarian-ism tends to get a bad rep mostly because it tends to sit closer to the American right then the American left, but I think that if you think of it as a classical liberal movement rather then a "don't touch my farm" kind of thing, I think there is a lot more to it then people give it credit for. Also it doesn't help that Rand Paul calls himself a libertarian, but is really just a Republican shock jock.

I think it might be more about the fact that gamers are far more likely to be involved in the internet than non-gamers. They get to see things and ideas that people who only watch Mainstream Media don't, like the full extent of government corruption, hence them being more suspicious of corrupt governments.

thaluikhain:
Yeah, "in the US" should be in the title somewhere.

This would also be nice.

Here's my stance:
I want government to heavily regulate corporations but not people.

Currently, it's the reverse.

Those are some pretty unrepresentative questions about libertarianism. Instead of asking questions about government regulation of corporations, gay marriage/abortion, military intervention, etc, the poll asked about banning caffeinated drinks, violent video games, and online gambling. It's almost like they asked these questions specifically with the knowledge that gamers would vote against regulation of those things, so they could report them as "libertarian."

dyre:
Those are some pretty unrepresentative questions about libertarianism. Instead of asking questions about government regulation of corporations, gay marriage/abortion, military intervention, etc, the poll asked about banning caffeinated drinks, violent video games, and online gambling. It's almost like they asked these questions specifically with the knowledge that gamers would vote against regulation of those things, so they could report them as "libertarian."

I'm sure it was a little more involved than that, though nothing like this is ever conclusive. To be honest gamers being tired to libertarianism and fringe third parties is nothing new. Indeed there is an entire stereotype (which exists because of extreme truth) about the whole chubby,fedora-wearing, fringe intellectual, who had no luck with women leading to a degree of misogynism, and happens to follow libertarianism. Like it or not the points on that stereotype (which goes beyond that) represents a lot of our number, so the results of surveys that confirm one or more aspects of it should surprise no one.

Even reading this article I notice it didn't just go after things gamers like, such as video games and energy drinks, but also got into issues like 3D printing technologies and whether the government should have the right to regulate and track what patterns people print in order to stop people from making firearms and such. As a general rule straight liberals tend to oppose anything to do with personal armament and champion the anti-gun movement. Someone who has a lot of socially liberal views but opposes the government there is moving into libertarian territory. Of course this is being done based on a point by point survey, it has nothing to do with what party people actually belong to apparently, just where their beliefs line up. I think the idea is to convince gamers to say quit the Democrats or Republicans (or being registered independent) and officially join The Libertarian party.

It should also shock no one that they are targeting gamers, because again, gamers have done weird things like the "World Of Warcraft" rallies for Ron Paul and such years ago. This has probably lead a lot of analysts looking at gamers as an untapped group that could be turned into a powerful voting block, which could also take pieces of other blocks (racial, etc...) with it as it became defined and affiliated with a camp.

The odd thing is that for all that I demonize liberals, I agree with straight democrats more than I do libertarians as a general rule (I myself am kind of an overall centrist with some extreme views either way, but officially affliated with The Republican Party). I can give Democrats credit for backing what most think is the right thing, and even agree with them morally sometimes, but believe practicality and realism has to come before naïve wishful thinking and it's projection. Libertarians on the other hand strike me as being kind of nuts and representing a philosophy that couldn't likely actually run a country, nor does it really represent a needed counter-point that the major parties don't already cover. I can agree with certain points now and again, but as an overall philosophy I believe there are good reasons why it's never been able to compete with the other major movements.

for me personally i wouldnt dare saying im a libertarian or a conservative. id say i took parts of both and mixed into my own ideology. which is why its pretty much impossible for me to find a political movement that i could fully support and thus i support almost none (EFF for example is one of those i support). I personally believe there is more than 2 sides to the ideology and we should look at a masive gray area here.

Just yesterday there was a presidential elections here and while my candidate got to second tour is quite obviuos its not going to be a win for him (46% of voters voted for the opposition, 19% for my candidate). so were going back to criticizing the government somone else elected.

gamers is a strong political group though, one that can be quite harsh towards people they dont like. for example that whole "Exposed world of warcraft player" candidate did win the elections. in fact the popularity has jumped since the exposure - the opposite reaction than expected.

Now i just wish they dont start thier propaganda campaigns aimed at gamers because of this. and by they i mean all sides.

The thing about Libertarians is that they are defined more by what they don't want than what they do want. This gives rise to large swaths of people who hold completely incompatible view points under a single umbrella term. People join political parties for different reasons and when the main reason to join one party is "keep government out of X", what X is is completely up to the individual.

From purely anecdotal evidence, it appears to me that the most "organized" group of Libertarians (and I use the term "organized" loosely) are those who do not trust the government with anything and tend to see any kind of new law as infringing on people's rights. It also seems to be the party of choice of conspiracy theorists (Alex Jones AKA "that guy your crazy friend won't shut the fuck up about").

It's just weird to have supposed public servants harping about the dangers of video games, marijuana, and gay marriage while there are banks illegally foreclosing on people's homes and massive foodborne illness outbreaks nearly every year.

I know that not dying or being thrown out of your home isn't as sexy for someone seeking re-election as virtual carnage, weed, and the gays, but criminy. Priorities, for heaven's sake.

Perhaps I'm missing something here but what the fuck is with that accompanying image? It's not even in the linked article, which would have at least explained, if not justified, why you would include an image that reinforces extremely negative stereotypes about women.

Edit: Oh, it's the cover of one of their magazines. Gross.

Yeah what's the sample size? Which country/countries were involved? I like the idea and stats and think it makes sense but there's actually not too much information represented here. By the linked article it looks like US only.

This is really not helping the meanspirted "America = world" jokes we Europeans/Brits can and do throw at you. Just saiyan.

Gamers tend to be what? Given the comments above me and what I saw in the article I'm guessing they didn't poll any european country and only the USA given here in this country the whole libertarian thing wouldn't be well received.

dear libertarian magazine,

please do not associate my dislike of useless legislation with your desire to dismantle society for self gain

i have seen your libertarian "counterdocumentaries" that use terrible clipart and a pretentious voiceover in order to attempt riding on trends as if you owned them, and i couldn't nope fast enough

thank you and good night

manic_depressive13:
Perhaps I'm missing something here but what the fuck is with that accompanying image? It's not even in the linked article, which would have at least explained, if not justified, why you would include an image that reinforces extremely negative stereotypes about women.

Edit: Oh, it's the cover of one of their magazines. Gross.

it looks likea redone promo image from GTA V is seems

you know I do not weep that it has not come to PC yet

anyway, my knowelege of politics is shaky at best but libertarians are...like the worst...you can't make it past a certain age without the depressingly evident fact that if anything end goal is profit people will get fucked over...

...I imagine they are all Ferengi

Vault101:
it looks likea redone promo image from GTA V is seems

Yeah but they did all this editing to make the man look more respectable (suit, questionable items like bikini poster removed from background, changing the finger to make him appear less rude). Meanwhile they didn't change the woman at all to fit the new tone. It looks like he just got back from work and this lady is in her underwear nagging him. If they wanted to represent the "average modern gamer" they should have removed the woman altogether, or made her look fifty years older. As it stands she doesn't look at all like his mum.

Vault101:
anyway, my knowelege of politics is shaky at best but libertarians are...like the worst...you can't make it past a certain age without the depressingly evident fact that if anything end goal is profit people will get fucked over...

Indeed. In the literary blogosphere, it's already been well established that there's not a single subject of debate that won't be made infinitely worse the moment a libertarian decides to contribute. Just the absolute worst. So I guess this makes sense, if we consider the overall quality of discussions in gamer circles.

I imagine an European survey would be quite different

Wait wait, are you telling me that a libertarian magazine belonging to a libertarian think tank that published the list of "Defenders of Freedom" which included Ayn Rand, Dennis Rodman, and Richard Nixon (also Madonna for some reason), found that gamers are libertarian? Colour me surprised.

I wonder what the Socialist People's Workers magazine would find in a similar poll.

manic_depressive13:

Vault101:
it looks likea redone promo image from GTA V is seems

Yeah but they did all this editing to make the man look more respectable (suit, questionable items like bikini poster removed from background, changing the finger to make him appear less rude). Meanwhile they didn't change the woman at all to fit the new tone. It looks like he just got back from work and this lady is in her underwear nagging him. If they wanted to represent the "average modern gamer" they should have removed the woman altogether, or made her look fifty years older. As it stands she doesn't look at all like his mum.

I dont know what the image is for (a libertarian magazine) so I'm not sure what they were going for

weather way its a loathsome image to go along with a loathsome ideology

Nowhere Man:
I try to be as centrist as possible. I believe in the free market correcting itself whenever possible but hate it when capitalism gets too greedy and out of control, that's when I believe the government needs to step in with the appropriate regulations. It's a fine balancing act where all sides have to be considered and the bullshit needs to be thrown out.

IanDavis:

There were a few other surprises, however, such as the fact that a fifth of all gamers are over the age of 55.

Holy shit, really?

Depends on how the magazine is defining "gamer." My mom plays Farmville. To me that qualifies as casual gamer. She does play video games but I cannot imagine that many here would consider that casual ftp games like that qualify. It looks like they glossed over that difference a fair bit in the article.

On topic.

Looks like they loaded the questions in that survey to give answers that they could interpret the way they wanted it. Of course a late night gamer is going to be more likely to indulge and favor energy drinks than someone who is not dumping multiple hours a week in an MMO.

Interpreting opposition to drug bans as libertarianism is a little suspect to me. I oppose bans to pot as a matter of principle, I don't use it, could care less about it's legality. But there is less need to ban it than tobacco or alcohol, both of whose impact on society is far more harmful. I'm in favor of food labeling for better informed shopping choices. That would lean me towards being in favor of regulation. The way they are reading the data is contradictory in my case.

More people identifying as independent would be more of an increasing sign of voter apathy than anything else.

What does the question "Do you support the use of Bitcoins?" even mean in the larger scheme of what they are spinning here? I would say the better question is, do you trust the value and worth of a currency that is a made up product of some mathematician which varies wildly and uncontrollably in value and cannot be easily or reliably be tracked or cashed in? I'm not against the use of Canadian Tire money, but I'm not going to expect it to have real world value in my wallet.

I guess like many "surveys" I do not trust the motives of the survey givers enough to really look at this as anything more than a fluff piece.

Well can,t say i'm really that surprised... I am a libertatian and many of my friends also are.
Just too bad in Québec, or in all canada for what it matter we Libertarian don,t really have an option that talk to us

Drejer43:
I imagine an European survey would be quite different

Yea, I believe so too. I mean, the E.U voted Net Neutrality into law, which compromises certain components of the international trade agreement in the works with the U.S <_<. Another reason I don't think it's going to go through, half the population disagrees because it's Government Regulation being pushed by the Opposition (Republicans) And a damn good size of said opposition opposes attempts to regulate the Internet because they -Use- it.

Only ones I actually see support this are the ISP's.

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