Views on Gaming Differ by Race, Ethnicity

Monica Anderson, Pew Research, December 17, 2015

About half of U.S. adults (49%) report playing video games on a computer, television, game console or mobile device, and whites, blacks and Hispanics are all equally likely to say they have done so, according to a new Pew Research Center report. But there are some differences among those groups when it comes to how they see gaming.

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Hispanics are more likely than whites or blacks to categorize themselves as gamers. Some 19% of Hispanics say the term “gamer” describes them well, compared with 11% of blacks and 7% of whites. {snip}

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Across several questions, blacks generally hold more positive views about video games. Some 19% of blacks say that most games promote teamwork and communication, compared with 10% of Hispanics and 8% of whites. Blacks are also more inclined to agree that most video games help develop good problem solving and strategic thinking skills–22% hold this view, versus 18% of Hispanics and 15% of whites.

On the other hand, 28% of whites surveyed believe that most video games are a waste of time. That share is 21% for Hispanics and even lower among blacks (15%). A third of blacks disagree that most video games are a waste of time.

Williams said there is not a clear explanation for these racial and ethnic differences, but one hypothesis is that blacks and Hispanics tend to play games more frequently than whites, so “more play time could equal more positive attitudes.”

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