Shattering Stereotypes: Survey Finds Today's Gamers Are Social And Natural Born Leaders

Let's not tread lightly here, we all know how the stereotypical video gamer is portrayed on TV, and perhaps in our own minds sometimes as well -- overweight, anti-social, hyperactive (especially on chat), lazy, living in their parents' basement, and the unflattering list goes on. Just reference the "Make Love, Not Warcraft" episode of South Park to see several of those traits played out. It's amusing (the episode, that is), but are gamers getting a bad rap? Most definitely yes, a new survey reveals.

First, let's talk about age and sex (as in gender). According to a study called "The New Face of Gamers" (PDF) by Lifecourse Associates commissioned by Twitch, the typical gamer is 31 years old and almost as likely to be a female, which comprise 48 percent of all gamers.

What that hints at is that gaming is more popular than it's ever been, but those aren't the only revealing statistics. People of all ages are getting into the pastime, from boomers on up to millenials. And as far as being social creatures, gamers are more likely than non-gamers to be living with other people (16 percent versus 10 percent). They're also less likely to watch TV alone (23 percent versus 40 percent), more likely to say they have a good relationship with their parents (79 percent versus 63 percent), and almost twice as likely to view themselves as natural leaders (61 percent versus 35 percent).

Image Credit: Flickr (The World According To Marty)

"Stereotypes of gamers have been slow to catch up with this new reality. In many cases, we still see gamers portrayed as glassy-eyed addicts or isolated automatons. Given how pervasive a pastime gaming has become, it should seem obvious that these negative characterizations aren’t true. And in fact, they’re completely at odds with who gamers are," the study says.

The telling statistics go on and on. For example, gamers are typically more educated than non-gamers with a higher percentage likely to hold a college degree (43 percent versus 36 percent). The point here is that gamer stereotypes are outdated and just flat out wrong in many cases. Are you paying attention, Hollywood?