A new study by Dell reports that the videogaming community is now larger and more diverse than it has ever been, with the profile of the average videogame player having changed significantly, though when it comes to virtual reality (VR) there is still room for growth.

The report shows that the videogame market exceeded $30 billion in 2016 and is forecast to grow at a 6% compounded annual growth rate through 2019. This growth has changed how videogame fans are perceived, and how they consider themselves.

A survey conducted by Alienware showed that the stereotypical image of a teenager playing violent games alone in their room is now a distant memory. Gamers are social with 27% having introduced three or four friend or family members to gaming, and 25% having introduced five or more.
This trends is reflected in the VR sphere, where social VR is a major trend growing in popularity.

60% of survey respondents said that they used videogames for relaxation, with 49% saying they played videogames to relieve stress. 40% of those surveyed said they were not overly concerned about their skill level, but only 6% identified as a newbie.

As for VR, only 30% of those surveyed said they played VR, augmented reality (AR) or mixed reality (MR) for an average of six hours per week. When asked what they were most excited about when they think of the future of videogames, almost a quarter mentioned untethered VR, while 20% mentioned VR arcades.

The report also showed that videogames are not just for play, with four out of ten saying that gaming has made them think more strategically, while 37% said it has helped them improve hand-eye coordination and increase reaction time. This feeds into work being done by educational establishments and businesses who are using VR and gaming to improve training.

VR still has some way to go before gaining widespread acceptance in the mainstream, but VRFocus will continue to report on every development.

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