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STUDY: What Gaymers Actually Want From Video Games

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This post is also available in: Portuguese

The stereotypical image of a gamer is a bro who takes things too seriously and peppers his speech with homophobic slurs — taking time from his XBox gaming only to harass feminist game critic Anita Sarkeesian. But thankfully, Jason Rockwood’s first ever Gaymer demographic survey in 2006 revealed that actual gamers are a diverse bunch.

In 2009, Paul Novak took the premise of Rockwood’s survey and expanded it to include over 7000 participants, completing a questionnaire covering questions about content, gaming techniques and so forth. The survey was a success but Nowak didn’t publish his results in an academic journal (like Rockwood) because potentially publishers deemed it “not important enough.”

Luckily, Nowak took his study back from the academics and published the results along with tips and guidelines on how developers can better represent that gay community in his book: Gaymers: The Difference a ‘Y’ Makes.

Here’s what Nowak’s work revealed about the average gaymer:

Gaymers Prefer Role Playing Games

From Final Fantasy to Fallout, gaymers all around chose RPGs as their preferred game genre. The long hours of grinding for that perfect armor and the chance to play as someone else in a fantastic and different universe seem to be a spell that not even a Ribbon Amulet can make you immune to.

Gaymers are Explorers/Achievers

Anybody who has played an RPG knows that a compelling story and an interesting, unfolding universe are the best parts of the game. Gaymers MUST look through every nook and cranny to find that hidden ever elusive — but so worth it — easter egg or hard-to-find item. They’ll also go through the most tedious of side-quests to get a feather that will give you a bottle for that new sword or magical armor.

"Come on you Guys, I need just one more scale. This will be easy"

“Come on you Guys, I need just one more scale. This will be easy”

Gaymers are Hardcore

Male gaymers spend approximately three to four hours per day gaming whereas female gaymers spend around two hours per day. That might not sound like a lot, but both do so at least five days per week. When you total in the average years spent gaming — eleven or more years was the most popular answer — that’s over 12,000 hours spent in front of a video screen.

Gaymers Want a Good Plot Above All

There are various things that will draw in a Gaymer. While avatar customization and the genre of a specific game rank high on the list, nothing compares to a good story and an intriguing plot. If the story is good, most gaymers will brave the clunky controls and battle system.

"So... I'm digging your new armor." "Thanks, slaying dragons is such a breeze now."

“So… I’m digging your new armor.” “Thanks, slaying dragons is such a breeze now.”

Gaymers Want Quality Homosexual Content in Their Games

Gaymers feel that homosexual content is important and would gladly boost up the sales of any given title if such content is handled in a good way. Gaymers don’t want title after title churned out just to fill a space in the market. Representation matters, after all — why should straight people get to identify with characters all the time?

Previously Published January 10, 2016.


GX, or GaymerX, is a “queer space”; a yearly convention in Santa Clara, California, where panels center on queer themes, but all are invited and welcomed. As a proud media sponsor of GaymerX, Unicorn Booty covers gaming issues of all sorts. Tickets are available at GaymerX.com.