The slightly shameful stereotype of a lone gamer in his mum’s house has transformed into a 35-year-old middle class dad, giving rise to a rebirth of the industry, writes Dominic Grounsell
Do you know what the average age of a gamer is? Brace yourselves. It’s 35. That’s right, we, the grown-ups, have taken over and are proudly flaunting our gaming prowess. Move over Waterstone’s Dad or Waitrose Woman, there’s a new stereotype in town.
With a staggering 3.24bn gamers worldwide as of 2023, it’s safe to say that gaming has evolved from a mere hobby to a global phenomenon. For people who grew up with arcades and classic consoles like the Sega Mega Drive and Nintendo 64, their love for video games has never waned.
Gone are the days when gaming was limited to solitary experiences. Thanks to the leaps and bounds in technology, people now have access to interactive gaming, whether it’s through online multiplayer battles or strapping on a virtual reality headset and stepping into fantastical universes. The thrill of embarking on epic quests, the rush of adrenaline during intense battles, and the satisfaction of overcoming challenges—all these moments of excitement keep gamers coming back for more.
But what drives the digital dads to embrace gaming so passionately? Well, for starters, it provides an escape from the pressures and responsibilities of adult life. After a long day focused on work and household chores, there’s nothing quite like immersing yourself in a virtual world where you can be heroes, explorers, or even just escape reality for a little while. Gaming offers a much-needed respite, a chance to unwind and recharge, and a reminder that there’s still a childlike sense of wonder within us.
Gaming has also become a social phenomenon. In an era where friendships are often formed and nurtured online, gaming has created a vibrant community where like-minded individuals can connect, collaborate, and conquer together. They’re part of a global network of digital dads, united by a love for gaming and the shared experiences it brings.
A thrilling amalgamation of sport and entertainment has also given rise to the love of e-sport. We’ve seen the success of exhibition boxing matches and the captivating drama of shows like “Drive to Survive” in the world of Formula 1. e-sports follows a similar formula, bringing together the competitiveness and skill of traditional sports with the spectacle and entertainment value of live events and cleverly crafted content.
In other words, what was once a slightly shameful stereotype of the lone gamer, still living in his mum’s house, is now a mainstream normal guy. Believe it or not, this is also driving a massive boom for the industry. The gaming industry is expected to be worth $470bn in less than a decade – more than double its 2021 valuation of $197bn, according to GlobalData.
So, let’s raise our controllers high and celebrate the rise of the digital dad. They may have a few extra wrinkles and a few less hairs, but they’ve got the skills, the experience, and the determination to conquer any virtual challenge that comes their way. Gaming brings them joy, excitement, and a sense of camaraderie, reminding us that life is about balance and finding those moments of excitement.
To all the digital dads out there, may your loot be plentiful, your headsets comfy, and your gaming adventures epic. Keep the spirit of gaming alive and remember that age is just a number when it comes to enjoying the thrill of virtual worlds.