Inside the Minds of Gamers

From an ad-agency perspective, it’s just what the world doesn’t need: a burgeoning industry whose customers seem not to care much about its ads. But that’s one image to emerge from an MI6/E-Poll Market Research report released this month, based on February polling of 13-64-year-olds who own a gaming device and play at least one hour per week.

Among other things, the poll examined the hierarchy of factors ranked as very influential in a purchaser’s choice of a new game. Atop the list, cited as very influential by 43 percent of respondents, was “a good price” Also high on the list were “playing a demo of it” (31 percent), “familiarity with game series” (27 percent), “hearing about it from friends” (26 percent) and “a good story line” (25 percent). Significantly fewer said they were highly influenced by seeing ads on TV (11 percent), in gaming magazines (8 percent), online (7 percent) or outdoors (5 percent).

The poll also looked into the reasons why gamers game. Thirty percent agreed strongly that “I play video games to relax.” Twenty-five percent agreed strongly that they play “when I want to take a break,” matching the number who play “for the challenge” or “as an escape from my day-to-day activities.” Twelve percent agreed strongly that “Playing video games gives me a sense of accomplishment.”

But don’t get the idea that gamers all focus single-mindedly on this avocation. Thirty-two percent agreed strongly that “I like playing video games, but they are just one of my interests”; 21 percent agreed strongly that “I enjoy video games but can take them or leave them.”