A global pandemic has meant that we’re spending more time inside – but did you know that we’re spending more time on-screen?

Chumba Casino‘s survey found that screen time has increased during the pandemic for 90 percent of respondents. However, they also found another interesting statistic – 81 percent of respondents have tried a new online gaming activity during COVID-19. These statistics aren’t just limited to younger gamers – many of the survey respondents were over 55.

Video games have long been a part of our ‘culture’ at large – but what do video games mean for different generations, and how are those generations behaving differently online? We’ve got all the intel below.

Generation Z/Zoomers

Zoomers, or anyone born after 1997, aren’t massive gamers, according to Chumba Casino’s research – they make up 0.75 percent of gamers surveyed. However, that’s not because Generation Z isn’t playing video games – they’re just playing them differently.

What makes Generation Z gamers tick?

According to a recent article from Forbes, Generation Z looks to video games as a way to build a world, not escape from it. They’re most interested in games that double as a virtual hangout, inspire creativity, and share their creations with their friends.

How do Generation Z gamers behave online?

Generation Z has a leg up on many of us simply because they’re more familiar with the technology we use to play video games. This generation grew up with the internet, which means that they’re tech-savvy and quickly adapt to the latest technology. However, that’s not to say that Generation Z exists in the future universe. As Forbes’ article notes, “…Gen-Z feels confident about their use of technology, but still have a wary eye towards how their information is used and privacy is respected. They want brands to reach out to them on social media, but they don’t expect to be reachable at all times. This push-pull creates an interesting dynamic for a generation who wants to disconnect but doesn’t seem able to.”

The takeaway? Generation Z is looking for a place to play, create, and share with friends. Their goal is creativity (and connectivity) on their terms.

Millennials/Generation Y

The generation that everyone loves to hate, these special snowflakes make up approximately 30 percent of Chumba Casino’s surveyed gamers. According to research from Marketing Charts, most Millennial gamers are employed, college-educated, and almost half have children.

What makes Millennial gamers tick?

Millennial gamers aren’t just interested in playing the games themselves – they’re highly interested in talking about the games, making them huge consumers of video game content. Marketing Charts found that nearly 71 percent of Millennial gamers use alternative platforms such as YouTube and Twitch to watch gaming content and online videos about gaming. Most users spend around six hours per week just consuming this type of content.

How do Millennial gamers behave online?

Most notably, the stereotypes around gamers have shifted. An article from 4A’s puts it beautifully: “Gamer no longer conjures the negative affiliation of a lazy guy in his parents’ basement. In a separate study conducted by Ypulse… 71 percent [of Generation Z and Millennial males] agree that they would call themselves a gamer. They are more likely to associate gaming with the words ‘fun’, ‘social’ and ‘friendly’ than ‘nerdy.'”

The takeaway? Millennials have lost the stigma commonly associated with ‘gaming’ culture, and they are more likely to engage with video game culture holistically, consuming additional content in addition to playing the game.

Generation X

The generation that games the most, it’s no surprise that Generation X is coming in on top. According to Chumba Casino’s research, 38 percent of survey respondents were between 41 and 56 years old. It makes sense – the generation who grew up with the first video games is the generation most likely to keep playing them.

What makes Generation X gamers tick?

Research from Deloitte found that Generation X gamers are very similar to Millennials and Generation Z. Smartphone and subscription service use match younger generations’ use. However, the exciting thing about this set of users is that many of them are female – 61 percent of Chumba Casino’s respondents were women – a departure from other demographics.

How do Generation X gamers behave online?

Research from World Financial Review found that Generation X prefers to play video games on their smartphones. While many gamers enjoy the standard puzzle and arcade game options, almost half of all female Generation X gamers are fans of card and casino games (think blackjack and poker).

The takeaway? Generation X players are playing on their smartphones, they like card games and puzzles, and they’re more likely to be women than other age groups.

Baby Boomers

Adults over the age of 55 made up about 6.5 percent of the gamers in Chumba Casino’s survey, but that doesn’t mean that their contribution to gaming (and gaming culture) should be ignored. A recent article for Medium suggests the powerful impact that Baby Boomers have on gaming culture – and why video game companies should make sure to pay attention to this substantial client base.

What makes Baby Boomer gamers tick?

Gamers over 55 join gaming culture for different reasons, but according to CNBC, keeping connected and mental acuity are significant factors. In a recent article, “several gamers over 50 told NBC News that video games offered the social benefit of interacting with other players and even the chance to build followings on platforms like YouTube and Twitch.”

How do Baby Boomers behave online?

In short, Baby Boomers are more likely to buy things. In the article, Medium cites a Spanish study that found that baby boomers are more likely to make in-app purchases – 70 percent of mobile gamers over 45 have purchased things while gaming. The survey also found that the most popular games are Criminal Case and Pokemon Go, in addition to trivia, card, and board games.

The takeaway? Baby boomers are online and playing games, and they’re more likely to have the expendable income to be an excellent target for in-app purchases.

Gaming culture has entered the mainstream, which means that everyone is connecting online. No matter your age, you can find a home away from home online.