Research by HP Inc. It shows that it’s time to think about games very differently. The past two pandemic years have seen a shift in who we play with, why we play and what our expectations are based on gaming experience. More people are playing games than ever before and gamers are more demographically diverse.
The HP Global Gaming Survey was conducted in five countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, with over 5,000 respondents from France, Germany, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Games create strong bonds between family and friends
Over the past two years, people have been separated and forced to stay home, making play a new way to spend quality time with their loved ones.
Two-thirds (65%) of gamers in EMEA play games with their families and 9 in 10 plan to continue playing in the future. In fact, one in three players in the EMEA region plans to spend more time playing with family members.
Almost half (49%) of all players play with different generations, such as grandparents, parents and children. In fact, games, along with listening to music, are the second most popular family activity. Watching TV (series and movies) is a more common family activity. Cooking and baking together come in at number four and traditional board games and card games are now at the bottom when it comes to family activities.
The reason people like to play video games with family is because they want to teach grandparents (57%) new skills and because it encourages them to get together with family (54%). 77% of video game players in Europe, Middle East and Africa enjoy playing video games with their children.
Jodi Johnson, Global Head of Games and Esports at HP Inc.
We play games to keep in touch and avoid stress and loneliness
For the majority of gamers (67%) in EMEA, gaming has become a means of socializing, with only 16% reporting playing solo games. The pressure to connect during the pandemic and its popularity means that 33% of people are now playing, with 44% of gamers being female and the majority (64%) over the age of 35. Another interesting finding is that 16% of players in Europe, the Middle East and Africa are over 60 years old. The results also show the following:
97% gamet to improve mental health
63% set to relax
58% group to combat boredom
Whether or not they play games, more than a third of people in Europe, the Middle East and Africa are positive about the impact of gaming on mental health and its ability to strengthen relationships with friends and family.
Players play to develop skills and themselves
The research also revealed other motivations behind players’ choice of entertainment – other than the need to connect and feel good. The majority (62%) of gamers in EMEA play games for learning and self-development and more than a third of them play games for mental prowess.
The results also show that the more recently people started playing games in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the more motivated they were to improve their self-development. This applies to 59% for those who started playing before 2020, 62% for those who started playing again in 2020 and 65% for those who first started playing in 2020. This indicates a new shift in motivation to participate in games.
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