Modern gaming is no longer seen as a pursuit for teenage loners, but is increasingly a cool activity, engaged in by a wide spectrum of society.
The global gaming industry had grown from a niche hobby, explored primarily by teenage boys and serviced by a handful of companies, to a $30bn (€24.7bn) industry by 2016, according to a study by computer giant, Dell.
Gamers now include mums and dads and growth is expected to continue into the next decade.
The survey, of 5,700 videogame players aged between 14 and 87, across 11 countries, found that the days of the label “gamer” being derogatory are gone.
Fewer than one in 10 said they feel either “judged”, “childish” or “embarrassed” in being called a “gamer” (8%-9% each).
Instead, they consider “gamer” a positive label and feel “fun” (35%), “cool” (29%), or “excited” (26%) about it.
While it has been traditionally seen as the realm of young men, the gaming world is now an increasingly diverse community.
The survey found that, when it comes to being matched with rival gamers, culture/ethnicity (8%), political views (7%), and sexual orientation (6%) are largely unimportant to a player.
Instead, what matters most is the other gamer’s skill level (40%).
Only 14% of gamers said they care about the gender of the rivals they are matched with online.
There has also been a sharp increase in female gamers.
One in two players (47%) has a female friend who plays video games.
Almost a third (29%) have a sister who plays, and 21% said their daughter does.
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