New Generation of Gamers Propelling Industry During Pandemic

LANSING, Mich. — In the coming weeks Microsoft and XBox will release new video game consoles for the first time in seven years. The demand could not be higher. Gaming has flourished during the pandemic and as Dan Grossman explains it’s due to a new generation of gamers.

“Back in 1975 my car was in the shop. it was a Saturday…”

Perhaps you’re wondering why in a story about video games

“So hilarious. the one that went viral laughs.”

“After 15 minutes of loading the disc tape in I got to play the game and I never looked back.”

It’s what got him here.

“I like games like that- that test your mental ability”

Known simply by his online alias grandpa gaming—he might be the last person you’d expect to log 100 hours a week streaming video games to more than 200-thousand people worldwide on a website called twitch.

“The older generations are coming out of the woodwork” and it’s an audience that has rapidly grown since March.

“My twitch notifications say- the statements say your followers have increased 200%”

According to the market research group NPD – Americans spent nearly 11 billion dollars on video games in the first quarter of this year – the most ever. they were also watching more as twitch reported people watched 1.5 billion hours of gameplay on their service in April – a 50% increase from the previous month.

“When your kid is home all day every day you need something to do.”

To Iowa State Psychology Professor Doug Gentile explained that “the why is pretty straightforward but the reasons behind it connect to something inherently embedded within each of us.”

“For example there’s a theory of human motivation called self-determination theory. it says that humans have an ABC of basic needs.”

  • Autonomy – we like to be in control
  • Belonging – we want to feel connected
  • Competence – we want to feel like we’re good at what we’re doing

What better way to satisfy all of those needs that were stripped by the pandemic than a skill-based activity played with other people and a controller in hand.

“people come together because they want to share their experiences.”

“They want to do something and this is a way of fulfilling that need.”

To grandpa it fills another need as he makes money off of what he does

Just not as much as the video game companies who will likely parlay these gains into the future.

“That’s the million dollar question – what’s going to happen? I think the first people to cash in on a million dollars will be the gaming industry and they just got a whole bunch of new customers”

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