What Kind Of Gamer Are You?

The average U.S. gamer is spending more time gaming than ever before, but only 4% of the gaming population is classified by the NPD Group as "Extreme Gamers." What kind of gamer are you?

The NPD group has released the 2010 edition of its Gamer Segmentation report, which looks into gaming and game purchasing habits. The report separates gamers into seven different segments: Extreme Gamers, Avid PC Gamers, Heavy Portable Gamers, Console Gamers, Online PC Gamers, Offline PC Gamers, and Secondary Gamers. The results were gathered from a January 2010 online survey, completed by 18,872 ages two and older.

Looking over the list, I'm not all that sure where I would fall. I tend to play a lot of portable and console titles, but my PC is packed with games, both online and off. As I don't quite meet the requirements for Extreme Gamers (most weeks at least), I guess the NPD would categorize me as a member of the press and not eligible to participate in the study anyway.

So what makes an Extreme Gamer? According to the NPD, it is someone who spends spend 48.5 hours a week playing games. I'm pretty sure there's some rounding and averaging involved there.

Still, even as an average, that's pretty extreme. More than two full days a week? Man, if I regularly gamed more than two full days a week, I'd be...well I'd be myself, 10 years ago.

Overall, U.S. gamers spent an average of 13 hours a week playing, which is a much more manageable amount. That's up from 12.3 hours from 2009.

The average age of gamers increased over the previous year as well, moving from 31 to 32, with avid PC gamers and offline PC gamers an average of 42-years-old.

No wonder they're so crotchety.

"With these kinds of shifts in the composition of the gaming consumer and changes in gaming behavior, it's clear that the need to understand gamers and their purchase patterns remains critical information to those that develop, market and sell games," said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group.

As well as aging gamers like myself, grateful to discover there's at least one gamer segment where I'd be considered underage.