There are differences between Polish gamers and American gamers according to a Polish-American study. Polish gamers prefer personal computers while US gamers use consoles like Xbox and PlayStation as a platform. American gamers also spent more time playing video games.
Małgorzata Ćwil and William T. Howes’s article “Cross-Cultural Analysis of Gamer Identity: A Comparison of the United States and Poland” is about the identity of gamer. In the research paper they ask questions such as “what kind of people are perceived to be gamers” and “how being a gamer differs in Poland and United States”. Ćwil and Howe made a study on university and college students in America and Poland that play video games. Over 200 students from ages 18 to 27 participated in the survey.
Video games have become a more common way to spend free time and they are part of everyday life. In the United States, over 65 percent of adults play video games five hours per week on average.
There is no unambiguous definition of a gamer. Some studies suggest that gamer can be identified by the time person spends playing video games or by the genre of preference. In popular culture, gamers are portrayed as unsocial, isolated young white males in dark basements, but according to studies gamers are older and more social than presented.
According to the Ćwil and Howes study, gamers truly spend more time playing games than those students that didn’t consider themselves as gamers. The biggest difference in playing time was with online games. Gamers spent more time playing with others online than playing just with themselves.
The most popular forms of video games are first-person shooters, massive multiplayer online games and strategy games. Polish and American gamers preferred different platforms in playing games. Polish gamers prefer PC’s, and US gamers play with consoles, like PlayStation and Xbox. Non-gamers usually play casual games with cell-phones.
Study shows that video game playing males consider themselves more frequently as gamers than women that play video games. In the United States, 60 percent of males and 10 percent of females considered themselves gamers. Men also spend more time playing games than women.
Ćwil and Howe argue that the best way to determine a gamer is to simply ask whether a person identifies as a gamer or not. Not everyone who plays video games identifies themselves as gamers, like not everyone playing sports consider themselves as athletes. Identifying self as a gamer or non-gamer can depend on time, financial incentives, socialization, demographics and more. A person’s identification with a group can be a better predictor of gamer or non-gamer behavior and attitudes than measures like time spent playing or genres played.
Photo credits by the author
Cross-Cultural Analysis of Gamer Identity: A Comparison of the United States and Poland: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1046878120945735