MIT survey examines habits, passion of sports gamers

A Massachusetts Institute of Technology study concerning players of sports video games includes few surprises, but as one of the first surveys of its kind, it offers opportunities for further research on its subjects, reports Kotaku.

The three-person research team behind "Who are sports gamers? A large scale study of sports video game players," which was published in the most recent issue of Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, was led by Abe Stein, a graduate student and audio director at the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab with experience working on games such as Fire Hose Games' Slam Bolt Scrappers.

The study was based on responses from 1,718 players of sports games who were at least 18 years old when surveyed in early 2011. Over 98 percent of them were male, with a plurality of the group falling into the 18-to-24 age bracket. Here are some other meaningful statistics:

  • favorite genres besides sports: shooters (68.3 percent), action (59.4 percent), action RPGs (50.1 percent)
  • least favorite genre: MMOs (16.4 percent)
  • did not play Facebook games: almost 82 percent
  • platform (with overlap): 60.3 percent on PlayStation 3, 60 percent on Xbox 360, 58 percent on PC

Stein told Kotaku that his team was particularly surprised by the number, length and specificity of responses to the question asking people to relate a story about a meaningful experience they had in a sports game. More than half the respondents answered, with numerous "very private and emotional stories." He also said that further study on "how these players relate their passion for video games to their sports fandom in general" is warranted by the results of the survey.

The full text of the study is available to view and download for a $25 fee.

More from Polygon

The horror of Five Nights at Freddy's

  • Dark Souls 2: Crown of the Old Iron King Overview

  • Spacecom: a fast 4X built for multiplayer

  • Pillars of Eternity builds on role-playing classics

  • Tour the 1 KB hard drive built inside Minecraft

Latest Discussions

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.



Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.