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7 Facts About the 87% of Moms Who Game

Melinda Spence, Head of Global Advertising Insights, Activision Blizzard Media

Melinda Spence, Head of Global Advertising Insights, Activision Blizzard Media

February 21, 2024

The "Gamer Mom" is a demographic that's rewriting the rules of the gaming world. Historically, the narrative around female gamers, particularly moms, has been narrow and underrepresented. The conversation has largely centered around their involvement with mobile gaming, frequently categorizing them as casual gamers—a sector that has yet to explore the full extent of the gaming universe. This presents an exciting opportunity for growth and discovery within this expansive and ever-evolving world of gaming.

This portrayal, perpetuated by media images, often paints moms as a unique type of player who turns to casual games in their downtime. However, our recent Mom’s Got Game research reveals an intriguing and multifaceted image of the Gamer Mom that surpasses these initial perceptions. This opens up a world of possibilities to understand, engage, and cater to this substantial and dynamic segment of the gaming community.

There is much more to Gamer Moms than meets the eye. We’re sharing 7 facts that advertisers should know about this powerful, playful demographic.

A mom and her son laugh while playing video games together.

1) Gaming Moms: The Silent Majority

While the gaming world is often perceived as a realm dominated by young, predominantly male players, the reality is surprisingly different. A significant 1 in 5 of the gaming population is made up of women with children. This silent majority of mom gamers has been largely overlooked until now, revealing a fresh, untapped demographic for advertisers to engage with. (Source: GlobalWebIndex, GWI Gaming, Q4 2021 - Q2 2023 (Base: Global Internet Users 18+))

2) Active Gamers: Majority Holders at 87%

Shattering stereotypes, our research shows that a massive 87% of moms are active gamers. These moms aren't just passively dabbling in the gaming world; they're fully immersing themselves, playing across platforms from mobile to tablet, console, and PC. This makes the gaming platform an influential space to reach this consumer group. (Source: GlobalWebIndex, GWI Core, Q3 2022 - Q2 2023 (Base: US Internet Users 18+) Note: Gamer defined as one who uses a device (e.g. console, PC, mobile) to play games)

3.) Multi-Platform Mastery: Moms Rule Consoles, PCs, and Mobile

Mom gamers are not confined to a single platform. From consoles to PCs, 80% of moms are flexing their gaming muscles across devices. They're spending many hours each week playing a wide range of games, from puzzle and action/adventure to racing, shooters, and simulation games. Their multi-platform use opens up multiple avenues for targeted advertising.

Three pie charts showing the breakdown of moms gaming on other platforms including console, PC, and mobile.

Source: Activision Blizzard Media Gaming Study via Toluna, July 2023 (Base: US Adults 18+)

4.) Bonding Through Gaming: Gaming Deepens Moms’ Family Bonds

Gaming is more than just entertainment for mom gamers; it's a powerful bonding tool. Our data shows that 45% of mom gamers feel they can easily relate to their children, compared to 35% of non-gamer moms. And when choosing to game with others, 50% of moms choose to play with their children. This shared interest in gaming creates a unique opportunity for family-oriented advertising that appeals to both moms and their children.

A bar chart comparing the relative closeness gamer moms and non-gamer moms feel with their families.

Source: Activision Blizzard Media Gaming Study via Toluna, July 2023 (Base: US Adults 18+) Note: Difference statistically significant at 90%

5.) The Decision Makers: Mom Gamers Lead Household Purchases

Mom gamers are the central figures in household purchasing decisions, wielding power across shopping categories. They also showcase a higher receptiveness to advertising that introduces them to new products. This demographic of gamer moms are mega-consumers who eagerly anticipate their weekly shopping and enjoy investing time in researching and discovering new products or entertainment. This creates numerous opportunities for brands to establish a direct connection with them along their purchasing journey.

 

A bar chart showing that gamer moms are primary decision makers across all shopping categories.

Source: Activision Blizzard Media Gaming Study via Toluna, July 2023 (Base: US Adults 18+) Note: Difference statistically significant at 90%

6.) Digital Shoppers: Mom Gamers Prefer Online Shopping

In the digital age, mom gamers are leading the charge, with 56% displaying a preference for online shopping over traditional in-person methods. This trend presents a golden opportunity for brands to leverage digital advertising for easier conversion and reach moms where they already are—online.

7.) Decade-Long Gamers: Majority of Moms are Seasoned Players

Gaming isn't a fleeting interest for mom gamers; it's a long-term passion. More than half have been gaming for over a decade, showcasing commitment and deep-rooted engagement with the gaming world. This enduring dedication to gaming signifies a stable and engaged audience for advertisers to continue to reach year to year, building lifetime value.

A pie chart showing that 57% of gamer moms have been gaming for more than 10 years.

Source: Activision Blizzard Media Gaming Study via Toluna, July 2023 (Base: US Adults 18+)

Moms Have Definitely Got Game

The "Gamer Mom" demographic is a potent force in the gaming world, significantly influencing the industry's landscape. Our research debunks the narrow perception of moms as casual gamers, revealing them as an engaged, majority player group that spans across multiple platforms and game genres. Their gaming habits serve as not just a source of entertainment, but also a tool for bonding with their children.

Moreover, as the primary decision-makers in household purchases and with a strong preference for online shopping, Gamer Moms represent a valuable target audience for advertisers. The fact that a significant number have been gaming for over a decade further underscores their commitment and engagement, making them a steady, reliable audience for brands to connect with.

These insights underscore the importance of recognizing and understanding the Gamer Mom demographic in all its complexity. For advertisers, this presents an exciting opportunity to rethink their strategies and tap into this influential group, crafting messages and campaigns that resonate with their unique experiences and interests.

About the Author

As Head of Global Advertising Insights at Activision Blizzard Media, Melinda Spence oversees global insights for the game publisher’s advertising division, delivering industry-leading thought leadership and research. Prior to Activision Blizzard Media, Melinda spent six years at PepsiCo, most recently leading its Rapid Delivery and eAway From Home commercial team across Europe. She has also held roles at Apple, where she identified strategic opportunities for the Apple online store utilizing customer insights, and BSkyB where she was focused on analyzing and improving customer satisfaction in Sky's online business unit. Originally from the United States, Melinda now resides in the United Kingdom and holds an MBA from London Business School. 

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Melinda Spence, Head of Global Advertising Insights, Activision Blizzard Media

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