Gaming Increasingly Seen as Form of Personal Expression, Fandom Study Finds

60% of gamers claim self-expression via gameplay is more important than ever

fortnite
Epic Games

According to Fandom’s 4th Annual Inside Gaming report, video games are “increasingly seen as a form of personal expression, exploring one’s identity and providing empowerment and confidence in one’s real life.”

Around 60% of gamers claim that self-expression via gameplay is more important to them that ever before. Creative and world-building focused games like “Minecraft,” “Roblox,” and “Fortnite” lead the charge in helping to tick those boxes.

“From character customization to cosplay and content creation, video games have empowered gamers to explore, express and enhance their identity – nearly two thirds of gamers claim it’s easier to be themselves with a controller in their hands,” said Stephanie Fried, CMO of Fandom. “With the growing significance of gaming as a means for self-expression and personal evolution, it’s crucial for brands to connect to these motivators to help players bring their gaming personas to life in the real world.”

Other findings include the fact that 46% of gamers’ top reason for playing is not stress relief but rather “creation, imagination, and self-expression” – which is an increase of 10% from last year. Another 32% also cited wanting their in-game appearance to more accurately mirror their real physical appearance. 64% believed gaming to be a vital safe space for many.

To gather the data for the Inside Gaming report, Fandom surveyed 5,000 entertainment and video game fans globally.

The Inside Gaming report isn’t the only study Fandom has released with interesting results. Back in September 2023 they showed finding from their Franchise Factor Score study that found Star Wars beat out Marvel as the top franchise in the world.

Star Wars and Marvel ranked one and two but other notable placements included One Piece at three, Harry Potter at five, and “The Last of Us” at eighth.

“Franchises made up 95% of the top blockbusters and games in 2023, yet there has been no single unified view on what’s capturing fan attention and why,” said Fandom CEO Perkins Miller. “The Franchise Factor framework gives creators, producers and marketers actionable insights and tools to strengthen their franchises in an increasingly competitive landscape.”

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