The stereotypes of young, angry, pale and isolated gamers are wrong. Gamers of all ages play for connection, for relaxation or the intellectual challenge

In our high-vocational stress household, the most volcanic tension usually erupts over control of the PlayStation. I’m still – still – absorbed in the game of Fallout 4 I started a year ago, with thousands of hours spent on perfecting the aesthetics of post-apocalyptic settlement-building. My partner prefers a wordless immersion in the splattery worlds of first-person shooters and war games but we reconcile over rounds of two-player Diablo, fighting demons and hoarding treasure together.

I’ve come a long way from the handheld Donkey Kong I cherished as a child, or the Pitfall caves I explored on a home PC, or the small parties of teens that gathered to play Sonic the Hedgehog on the loungeroom TV. The demands of fun are more complex now – but the need for fun remains the same.

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