Researchers have discovered that the average sports videogame fan is a white guy who likes sports.
It's a burning question that's hung, unanswered, over the videogame industry for years: Who is buying all those Madden games? Thanks to research conducted by Concordia University Professor of Communications Mia Consalvo, working in conjunction with Abraham Stein and Konstantin Mitgutsch of the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab, we now know.
An online survey of 1718 sports videogame fans found that 98.4 percent are male, 93.3 percent are sports fans, 80 percent are white and have an average age of 26 years. The results of the research are almost exactly what most of us would have expected, a fact not lost on Consalvo.
"Perhaps one of the biggest findings to emerge from this study is unsurprising, but finally documented. The overwhelming majority of sports gamers' - 93.3 percent - self-identify as sports fans," she said. "That identity pushes beyond the playing of sports-themed videogames. Attending sporting events, watching them on television, participating in those activities themselves as well as following certain teams or sports were regular parts of their daily lives."
Despite the breakthrough, the work isn't done. Consalvo, who also holds a Canada Research Chair in Game Studies and Design, said the next step is to figure out why there is so little diversity among fans of the genre, and why females "seem to be in the minority."
"While this study provides new insights into who sports videogame players are and what they play and why, we still lack knowledge on how these players relate their passion for video games to their sports fandom in general," she explained.
The research is being conducted in support of a book being written by Consalvo, Stein and Mitsgutsch entitled Sports Videogames.