Race and video games

The relationship between race and video games has received substantial academic and journalistic attention. Game theory, based on Johann Huizinga's Homo Ludens, argues that playing video games provides a way to learn about the world. Games offer opportunities for players to explore, practice, and re-enforce cultural and social identities. Video games predominantly created and played by one racial group can unintentionally perpetuate racial stereo-types and limit players' choices to preconceived notions of racial bias.[1]

Demographics of video game players

There are mixed results on the demographics of people who play video games. While one study mentions that African American and Hispanic children make up the majority of video game players,[2] a study by Pew Research Center finds that 73.9% of white children play video games compared to 26.1% of nonwhite children.[3]

The Pew Research Center found that 19% of Hispanic respondents and 11% of Black respondents described themselves as "gamers," compared to 7% of Whites.[4] Another report by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that African American and Hispanic youth ages 8–18 spend more time with video games on average than White youth.[5] Nielsen survey research found similar results.[6]

In her work, Adrienne Shaw describes how the gamer identities of players intersect with identities of gender, race, and sexuality.[7]

Another Pew study showed that 89% of Black teens play video games, as well as 69% of Hispanic teens. In addition, white and Hispanic teen gamers were 'more likely than blacks to report feeling angry while playing online.'[8]