Tracing the Gaming Patterns of Gen-Z and Millennials

Each one of us either knows an enthusiastic gamer or is a part of that club themselves. In the early 2000s, a typical gaming enthusiast would have been somebody who got a kick out of spending the weekend fighting for freedom in a totalitarian world, roaming the roads of Vice City, or saving Mario’s princess. This was a generation that would have found nothing wrong in trading their social calls for logging in on Call of Duty.

Video gaming is not a new phenomenon. In fact, it has been a part of our lives from as early as the 1970s when developers started coming up with the first generation of arcade and console video games, such as the Galaxy Game and Magnavox Odyssey. But, a lot has changed since people were first introduced to the gaming world in the 1970s, with different generations interacting and responding to games in different ways.

The two generations whose engagement with video gaming is most interesting are Millennials (people born between 1980s-2000s) and Gen Z (people born between the mid-1990s to mid-2000s). Millennials have perhaps seen the most rampant technological advancements in video games, while Gen Zs have had technology inter-woven into their lives, considering their interactions with gadgets has been strong since infancy, accommodating it as an intrinsic experience of everyday life.

So, what are the gaming patterns of both and how similar or different are they?

Game genres:

While Millennials are still hung up on classic video games like Super Mario Bros, Rummy Game, Halo and Legends of Zelda, Generation Z has familiarized itself with the more recent phenomenal games like Call of Duty, Counter-Strike, Minecraft and Grand Theft Auto.

Studies have been conducted to understand the gaming habits of these different generations, revealing interesting results. The Entertainment Software Association, for instance, conducted a research about the Computer and Video Gaming Industry last year and found that out of the total video gamers, Gen Z made up 27% of the portion. Millennials, on the other hand, accounted for 29% of all video gamers.

Mobile vs console gaming:

According to a recent research report by Tapjoy titled “The Changing Face of Mobile Gamers”, as far as mobile gaming is concerned, Gen Z constitutes a total of 14% of mobile gamers, while Millennials make up 21% of the segment.

The Pew Research Centre found that a whopping 81% of Gen Z either owns or has access to a game console, such as PlayStation, Wii, or Xbox. The Centre further broke down these statistics into gender divisions, and found that 91% of male gamers own game consoles, while only 70% of female gamers own or have access to a gaming console.

While Millennials find it easier to play card games through mobile gaming apps, Gen Z prefers to use consoles for video gaming, and their smartphones for accessing social media. For instance, one of the most popular games amongst Millennial men in India is real cash Rummy, leading to higher rummy game downloads. Though it is primarily a card matching game, the specific rules vary depending on the particular variant of the game. Some of the most common variants of Rummy that Millennials seem to enjoy include – Traditional Rummy, Indian Rummy, Rummy 500, Gin Rummy, Contract Rummy and Indian Marriage Rummy. Some Millennials find it easier to play rummy online, as it gives them ease of access, letting them play it whenever they want.

Time spent logged in:

As far as the time spent on playing video games is concerned, it has been found that Gen Z gets down to play less frequently as compared to the Millennials – 48% of Gen Z plays video games once a day as opposed 56% of Millennials. That being said, the time Gen Z spends in a single sitting is much higher than what Millennials do. While 29% of Gen Z plays video games for more than 4 hours a day, only 23 per cent of Millennials do so.

The one thing that sets the two generations apart is the types of video games that appeal to them. While Millennials look for challenging video games that aren’t easy to get through, Gen Z tends to turn into games that are fun to play and have a good storyline. This is why they are more likely to be hooked to video game genres that involve action, adventure, or simulation rather than word games or card games. Millennials, however, seem to be equally drawn to explore all kinds of genres.

Though both have different preferences and habits when it comes to video gaming, it cannot be argued that every generation has been drawn to the thrill and entertainment obtained with their every escape into the realm of video gaming, be it online or offline.

About the author

James Oliver

James is a tech-savvy journalist who specializes in consumer electronics. He holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and has a knack for dissecting gadgets to their core. Whether it's smartphones, wearables, or smart home devices, James has got it covered. In his free time, he enjoys mountain biking.