Millennials Spend More Time Gaming Than Gen Z

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There is a prevailing myth about video games that assert they are for kids. While anyone involved in the hobby will tell you how wrong that is, the average person still assumes that video games are toys meant to occupy children. Those people will be surprised to learn that it’s actually Millennials that spend more time gaming than their younger counterparts in Gen Z.

According to a survey conducted by Express VPN (which consists of 1,000 gamers from the US and 1,000 from the UK), roughly 68% of participants in the age 36-45 demographic admitted to playing video games. Conversely, 58% of participants in the age 26-35 group admitted to the same. As you go down the list to Gen Alpha, the number becomes smaller still.

Another statistic that is sure to dispel some myths, Gen Z participants admitted that they are less likely to play video games at night. Millennials, on the flip side, said they were more likely to do so, with 59% saying they would continue to game even if they knew it would disrupt their sleep schedules or interfere with their responsibilities.

What exactly does this data mean? Likely not much, but we can take some educated guesses. Gaming has been around for more than half a century now, but it’s still a relatively young medium. With the oldest Millennials being in their early 40s, they have always known a world where video games are a thing. While Gen Z is the same, they grew up right after the internet boom and likely formed more of a connection to being connected versus playing video games.

There’s also the fact that Millennials are older than Gen Zers. As such, they have more disposable income which can be spent purchasing more games and playing those games for longer. Gen Zers are still starting their careers or are just starting their higher education and as a result, don’t have as much free time on their hands. You’d think Gen Alpha would pick up the slack, but again, they grew up in an era where social media was the prominent form of entertainment. They don’t have as much attachment to the medium as Millennials.

In a statistic that does nothing to dispel myths, men admitted to being more emotionally invested in gaming than women. There are a number of reasons for this, but one of the biggest cited was that men play video games to connect with their friends. Men also admitted they were more likely to seek employment in the gaming industry than women, who said they’re more likely to play games to unwind and entertain themselves.

Lastly, retro gaming seems to be on the rise again, with 79% of participants saying they play retro games. While that isn’t surprising for Millennials who grew up with the likes of the NES, Genesis, PS1, Xbox 360, etc., Gen Z participants yielded a similar result. That could be down to factors of availability, nostalgia, or pricing since digital re-releases of retro games tend to be significantly cheaper than brand-new titles.
There are some other interesting tidbits contained in the survey, but one thing remains clear: gaming isn’t just for kids. With the medium being able to tell stories that are wholly unique from films or books, people of all ages are drawn to gaming for one reason or another. You shouldn’t ever let anyone tell you you’re wrong for enjoying games.


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