GWJ Demographics


My father watched me play GTA 4 for a few minutes the other night. The mission was one of the early ones, where you basically just had to track down, chase in a car, and then kill the target. I had gotten the dude out of his car, and was chasing him on foot. I knocked him over, and didn't have any guns yet, so I used the bat. His comment was, "That's terrible." and he walked away.

My dad is 60. He's an old-school geek. Possibly one of the original founders of the modern geek ideal. He introduced me to Star Trek. He's a ham radio operator (something he has tried for many years to get me to do), which is a transition of a profession in the Navy to a hobby (he was in a Navy intelligence division during Vietnam, an ex-CT). He has long been into electronics and computers. He fostered many of my geeky habits. Something he hasn't done so well, though, is transition from the older, familiar technologies to newer ones. Computers, which should not be much of an obstacle to him, are a bit intimidating. But he tries.

Our initial foray into IBM-Compatible computers brought him into the world of Wolfenstein 3D, and Spear of Destiny. Mind you, this was probably quite a few years after these games had hit the market. Modern FPSes would probably be too much of a challenge for him. His reaction to my GTA 4 mission is probably an indicator that he wouldn't want to play them, either. This is a man who also watches, and loves, some pretty violent movies. The example that stands out most in my mind at the moment is the Bourne trilogy.

All of this got me thinking about gaming and aging. It makes me wonder if I'll, at some point, just give up on games for one reason or another. I don't want to now, but that's no guarantee that won't change.

So, I call upon you folks, the community of GWJers. Those who are comfortable revealing it, share your age, and your most played, and least played genres. Or, if you can't pin down a genre, just list a few games that you played recently that held your attention for a long while. Also maybe the amount of time you put into games (i.e. Casual gamer vs. Hardcore gamer).

I'll start. I'm 26. The genre that usually most appeals to me is RPG, especially largely open ones (i.e. Elder Scrolls games). I'm also pretty heavy into FPSes and RTSes. I suppose the genre I play the least would be something along the lines of shoot-em-ups. I would consider myself a hardcore gamer.

EDIT: As this thread grows, and we nail down exactly what people are putting as the genres are, I'll add a list of them for people to refer to. You can also post your platforms of choice, if you prefer, but I mainly want to tie this to video/PC games in general. Board games are a different category than the kind of information I was hoping to gather for this. Once we get a decent sampling of GWJers, I'll start calculating the averages and add them to this post.

FIRST RESULTS: As of Monday, May 26, 2008, 2:07 PM EST, out of a sample of 108 ages given, the average age of goodjers is 30.97.

Good times. I'm 32, and I play mostly FPS and 3rd person action games (a la Max Payne, GTA series, etc.). I love RPGs and tactical RPGs but since having kids I generally do not have the time to sink into them.

I'm 24 and mostly play FPS and 3rd person action. I also love Rally type racing games and the Burnout series, and, will usually sink into card and puzzle games for hours at a time.

So pretty much breakneck speed relying on reflex and instinct to win, or, slow quiet thinking games where I can take my time to make decisions. The in betweens, such as RPG's and RTS's, usually leave me frustrated and disinterested after a few hours.

I would consider myself an average gamer. If you add solitaire and occasional poker into my console gaming I probably put in about 3 hours a day on average.

Gaming has always had to compete with my love for movies, though. Sometimes I'd rather watch 2 movies I've seen 10 times a piece than play anything for 4 hours.

I'm 30. I like strategies, but real-time ones not so much. I also like RPGs, tactical RPGs and basically any game with good story. I don't mind action games as long as they are somehow interesting - I'm more into stealth actions than anything else (Thief, Deus Ex, System Shock, Splinter Cell are among those I enjoyed the most).

I don't play too much, there are days, even weeks, when I don't feel like playing games at all. But I do consider myself more on the hardcore side - I love deep gameplay systems, intricate storylines and just recently I calculated with horror that I'm playing games for quarter a century now. PC, PS2 and DS are my platforms of choice.

I'm 26 and my favorite genre has long been RPGs, although these days I play a lot more action and FPS games, generally preferring those with an open world/exploration element and "RPG-like" gameplay mechanics and story/character development. I also get into board games and turn based strategy games from time to time (although not really RTS games -- don't have the mental or physical reflexes needed), and on occasion a racing game will really grab me.

I essentially don't play sports games ever, and although I liked them when I was younger I don't really play fighting games anymore.

I am 35 now. Play Oblivion till like crazy at the moment. Love RPG. Also love FPS, then again, didn't try TF2 yet. And I do own it legally.
Love RTS, got Sins of a Solar Empire. Still have to play it though! Haven't tried Company of Heroes yet either.
Occasionally play Civ IV as well.

I'm 27 and I'll play pretty much anything if its good.

Certis wrote:

I'm 27 and I'll play pretty much anything if its good.

Same here, except sports games.

25 here. I tend to be a bit of a jack-of-all-genres for the most part. I go where my latest whim takes me, be it RPG, strategy, FPS, sports, simulations (driving/flight), puzzles, or arcady type games. Most of the time you can find me in an MMORPG though (just left WoW, but trying out and writing up some of the free one's out there).

I will say that I don't do very well with twitchy games because my reflexes have slowed tremendously in the last few years (since a really bad car accident), so I only play them when they're very forgiving on how twitchy you need to be. WoW PvP was hell for me, as I just don't have the reaction time to deal with those guys.

Just as an example, I'm currently playing (bit here, bit there): Mario Kart Wii, House of the Dead 2&3 Wii, Sins of a Solar Empire, Anarchy Online, Project Torque, NFS Most Wanted, Rebel Strike, JK: Jedi Academy, and Sudoku when I'm not at home and don't have my DS, or Puzzle Quest (replaying) when I do.

And no, I'm not ADD.

Certis wrote:

I'm 27 and I'll play pretty much anything if its good.


I'm 35 and my favourite genres are Survival Horror and Music/Rhythm, with a dash of FPS and Adventure

34, and I play mostly RPGs and FPSs, with the occasional strategy game ( no RTS, can't handle 'em, so they seem like work).

Since marriage + kids, I'm definitely out of the hardcore category, but still game almost every day, so I have no idea what that makes me.

I'm 30, and I'll also play pretty much anything.
I go through spurts, right now I'm on a MMO spurt playing WoW, and now trying out Age of Conan. When I'm not doing that, I'm in 3rd person action such as GTAIV, or FPS's.
I like RTS's, but C&C3 for the 360 did not scratch that itch. I will jump all over Red Alert 3 for the PC when it ships. I also have Sins of a Solar empire installed, but have only played it for a couple of hours.
I've had major stints with the Civilization games over the years, and am eagerly anticipating Spore.
About this time last year, I played almost nothing but XBLA games.
The only types of games that I don't play now are Sports and Fighting games, which in my youth were at the top of my list.

I'm 24 and I heavily prefer RPGs and MMORPGs but will play any "A" quality game regardless of genre.

I'm 26 and I mostly play FPSs, music/rhythm and puzzle games. I despise RPGs and sports games.

For the purposes of tallying, when I say 3rd person action, I lump sandbox into that.

So I am thinking of GTA(x), Mercenaries, Crackdown, Just Cause, and Gun, but also, Resident Evil 4, Splinter Cell, and Gears of War.

So, if you're going to split them I guess put me in both.

I'm 35 and play everything except for MMORPGs, simply because there's no time.

I'm 29, and I enjoy all gaming genres except puzzle, RTS, and sports. CRPG is my favorite followed by JRPG, but I can't put 40 hours into leveling anymore. I probably play FPS the most. For the most part I don't like puzzle games, but do occationally play a game of Tetris to kill time.

I'm 34 and I regularly play:
* Shooters/action (first or third person)
* Strategy (turn-based or real-time)
* Role-playing games (first or third person)

I occasionally play:
* Fighting games (Street Fighter, Soul Calibur)
* Racing games (Burnout 3)
* Adventure games (I find I lack the patience I had when I was younger)

I do not play:
* Sports games
* Japanese RPGs
* MMOGs (too much commitment, too much focus on grouping)

38. I'll play anything if it's high-quality, but I get sucked in by things where you can level up or grow, e.g. WoW (where your character grows stronger) and Civ (where your society gets bigger and military units get stronger). Less time to play now with a baby, so the multiplayer Civ 1 turn per day games are ideal for me.

I'm 24, I have to agree with Certis that I play anything that is good.

For the sake of tallying though, I prefer RPGs, action/adventure, MMOs. Occasionaly RTS.

34 and I play pretty much everything except RTS and JRPG's (with a few exceptions) though I really tend to favor FPS, Sandbox (Open World?), and Western RPG's. I used to be big into racing but it seems like the genre isn't really expanding these days.

EDIT - Come to think of it I don't play Sports games or MMORPG's.

I'm 35 for a few more days...

Regularly play MMORPG, RPG and Puzzle games.

Also like Strategy games

Won't play, but will happily watch someone else play a FPS if it has a good storyline.

I'm so starting in anticipation of us growing older.

lunabean wrote:

I despise RPGs

Shocking. I have no idea why that would be the case.

Maybe because you always be makin' cookies witchyo godamn elves!

Certis wrote:

I'm 27 and I'll play pretty much anything if its good.


I'm 27 and love most game genres except I can't get into RTS and tactic games, but I love chess go figure.

I'm 25. RPGs are my favorite. It all goes back to my sister and me looking for every piece of Ederick's armor in Dragon Warrior. And it was FFVII that pushed me into hardcore gaming. Over 250 hours of FFVII alone. I don't mind if its on rails or open-ended. I always viewed it as a book I got to participate in

I like FPS, but I'm not terribly good at it. I'm just happy to have settled at the middle of the back in TF2.

I have an unhealthy fixation on single-player RTS mode. I beat WC2, WC3, C&C2, C&C3, C&C:Generals, AoE2, and even the Battle for Middle-Earth games, more than once for several of these, without ever even logging on to battlenet or the like (except for the occasional DOTA session).

Platform games are what I'm best at. God of War 2 and Prince of Persia: Sands of Time are my favorites. While I liked Mortal Kombat, DOA, and Street Fighter, Soul Calibur was the only fighting game I ever got good at.

And I mourn the death of the side-scroller. I played the sh*t out of the 2 copies of Castlevania: SOTN I aquired over the years. Seriously, one I lost and the other one can barely play anymore.

34 and will play any genre except sports games. Though I did play those when I was in my late teens to early 20's.

I'm 31 and will try pretty much anything.

I find my play habits over the last few years have shifted dramatically. I used to play lots of FPS and RPG. We're a lot more casual these days (the Mrs. and I).

Last couple of games? Boom Blox, Lego Star Wars, Metroid Prime, TF2, Medieval TW 2, and RE 4 Wii.

I'm 38. I've spent most of my post-college time playing FPS with the occasional strategy and RTS games thrown in. Over the past few years MMO's have taken over as my genre of choice.

It would be interesting if somebody took the time to compile the GWJ demographics into graphical form (age range, average age, etc.)