Fans of Major League Gaming don’t watch a lot of TV. And they spend an awful lot of time playing videogames. But they don’t fit the basement-tied reclusive stereotype that lingers over superpassionate gamers either.
That’s according to new research conducted by Sponsorship Research International (SRI) exclusively for Major League Gaming (MLG), an upstart sports league made up of professional videogame players. Last October, SRI surveyed roughly 1,000 visitors at the league’s site MLGPro.com on their media and social habits.
Some of the report’s findings might scare network TV executives. Nearly 80 percent of respondents agreed with the statement “If forced to make a decision, I would choose to give up TV before videogames.” Almost half said they’d spent at least four hours the previous day playing games, and 55 percent regularly play game several times a day—seriously cutting into potential TV time.
However, despite the heavy gaming time, these guys do get out. According to the survey, 66 percent of respondents are part of some sort of social club, group or sports team. And perhaps in part to gaming’s increasing social nature, friends aren’t a problem: 82 percent of respondents said they make friends easily.
MLG executives said that while most marketers have gotten over the longstanding image of the solitary gaming geek, it is important for the still-growing league to provide advertisers with as much information on its fan base’s demographics as possible. “From an ad perspective, we needed to get at who this audience is,” said Harlan Stone, president of MLG Properties. “These young men have more leadership attributes than they are given credit for. Plus, there is a competitive aspect to this that drives social interaction.”