Article States Industry Lies About Expansion Of Market. Grandma: "Oh Really?"
Naturally Grandma and I disagree.
In the article the list of "likely responses" to its purpose includes "All my friends play games, so there!" and I would like to give the author just such a response. A lot of folks in the industry read the site enough to know the e-mails and comments we get from older women gamers and from folks who know and aspire to be older gamers in the future are sincere.
Was the survey the article points to unscientific? Maybe. But that's no reason to assume apocalyptic marketing in the years to come, or even discard the ability to look to other sources for signs of an expanding market. Here's our response (also posted as a comment on Grand Text Auto's site. We like Grand Text Auto.)
I’ve read the article, so I understand the principal argument, that the surveys were not done in a such a way as to be considered sound proof of the age and gender expansion of the gaming market.
However, I completely disagree with the notion that the market is not expanding; and that both the age and gender gaps are [edit: "not"] indeed closing. It’s true, I don’t have documents to show true percentages of sales and usage- but I do have Grandma. Grandma and I have received hundreds of e-mails from mature women gamers who claim to be over 50 and into the same sort of games she is. This wasn’t enough; but the hundreds MORE e-mails from folks saying “she reminds me so much of my Grandma, who passed recently/lives today/kicks ass and loves Zelda/God of War/Devil May Cry/Final Fantasy…” really helped me to understand that Grandma is by no means unique in her character.
Look at age for instance; arcades have been around since the 1970’s, so it makes perfect sense that one who was, say 7 years old at the time could still be playing today, with new systems and new games. Such a person would be around what, 40 years old today? Now the marketing of the games has been carefully narrowed to a young, male demographic- but for those who now have the support of the community and of their peers, there is only the game, and not the advertisements. The 15-30 Male Demographic is self sustaining and productive for game developers, but it isn’t exclusive anymore. There isn’t as big a stigma for those who play outside their caste. The expansion of gaming to the elderly, the very young; to both genders and to all economic classes is an inevitability in a society in which gaming has infiltrated most popular entertainment outlets- as it is mentioned in movies, books, politics, education, the military, etc.,…
The evidence Grandma has, while anecdotal, was not designed to assist the game industry to convince others or to help them increase sales. It was a response to Grandma’s stories. This too, is not scientifically valid- but it retains the fundamental elements of the survey- that more older folks and more women are turning to games for entertainment.
So what do you guys think? Is there only a marginal female gaming community? Do only a random few elderly folks enjoy games along with their families? Or is someone overreacting?
Personally I think he's a big poop head.