A new survey released by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) reveals that Americans who identify as gamers could be one of the most influential groups of voters in the 2016 presidential election.
The survey, commissioned by the ESA and conducted by global market research firm Ipsos, polled 4,147 Americans aged 18 and older who reported playing video games for at least three to four hours each week. More than 80 per cent of respondents indicated that they plan to vote in next year’s presidential election, higher than the 75 percent among the non-gaming public. In 2012, the figures were 79 per cent of gamers and 69 per cent of non-gamers.
The survey also reveals that gamers’ political orientations are highly diffuse, with 48 per cent of respondents identifying as conservative, 38 per cent as liberal, and 14 per cent as “other.” Party affiliation is also fairly evenly split, with 38 per cent of respondents reporting they are Republican/Tea Party voters, 38 per cent Democrats, and 24 per cent Independents.
In contrast to progressive authoritarians, who warn that conservative reactionaries are attempting to infiltrate the gaming community, the ESA’s results show that right-leaning gamers already constitute a small majority. Even so, many gamers are in agreement with libertarians and liberals on social and environmental issues, with 71 per cent of respondents indicating a belief in humans having an effect on climate change, 67 per cent supporting increased investment in renewable energy.
61 per cent expressed concern over the disparity of wealth distribution in America. Among respondents aged 18-24, race relations, class disparity, and education were all identified as issues of high importance.
Gamers care most about the economy, with only 41 per cent of respondents indicating that they were better off financially than eight years ago, and a majority of 61 per cent supporting cutting government spending to address the budget deficit, compared to only 25 per cent supporting increased taxes.
The survey shows that gamers are a diverse and wide-ranging community deeply concerned by the issues Americans are facing today and engaged in the political landscape, as opposed to the insular, homogeneous, self-obsessed hyper-consumer stereotype propagated by many in the gaming and mainstream press.
“Gamers are engaged, informed and hold strong opinions on critical issues,” Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of the ESA, stated in a press release.
“They’re smart, concerned and they vote,” concured Michael Steele, former chairman of the Republican National Committee. “This ESA survey tells us a lot about the gamers and how they could potentially reshape the political landscape in 2016.”
Simon Rosenberg, founder and president of liberal think-tank NDN, noted, “The views of gamers are as diverse as the nation itself, and there can be little doubt now that playing video games is a near universal activity at the very core now of the national experience in the U.S.”
Gallagher expects “100 million gamers will vote next year,” which would constitute an enormous share of the expected voter turnout. For comparison, the total number of votes cast in the 2012 presidential election was just over 129 million. “From both sides of the aisle, and in every state across the country, they will influence the course of our nation’s future,” Gallagher predicted.
The ESA provided an infographic of the key points from their survey results, which can be viewed below.
Noah Dulis is the Deputy Managing Editor of Breitbart News and co-editor of Breitbart Tech. Follow him on Twitter @.