Video games is a big part of my life. I wake up in the morning next to my Nintendo 3DS facing our TV set with a Playstation 3 connected to it. I have a small library of games for my 3DS and a slightly bigger one for the Playstation 3 because it’s meshed with games my brothers bought. On my Youtube subscriptions list are channels ranging from moviebob, Game Theory, FeministFrequency (yes, I watched her videos), Extra Credits, Angry Joe, Hey Ashe Whatcha Playin aside from the official Youtube channels of Nintendo, Playstation and other game publishers. Like the thousands if not millions of Filipinos like me, I am what is known as a “gamer”.
While the term “gamer” is already filled with many questions as to what it actually means, it has made me curious as to who compose the Philippine gaming community. Since coming out of the abyss of illegality following the Martial Law era, video games have boomed in the Philippines with many Filipinos (myself included) turning it into a way of life. With the advent of Facebook and other social media outlets, the community of gamers in the Philippines has become more public and also become more connected. As the community continues growing, the question remains, “Who is the Filipino gamer?”
An outsider looking into Filipino gaming would see gamers as the loud, rowdy, cuss-like-a-pirate hoodlums that frequent computer shops playing Counter-Strike, DotA, League of Legends or similarly themed games. This has become the sort of poster-image of what a Filipino gamer is, but there has never been an actual study conducted on what games Filipinos tend to play more. In fact, I can’t recall any study having been done about Filipino gamers.
I’ve been planning to do this for some time already, until one night I just said, “Screw it, let’s get it on!” I created a survey intended for multiple users to fill in with their responses. I posted the survey form on different Facebook groups and forums, both gaming related and non-gaming related. I also sent it to some of my friends to get a bigger sample size. The aim was to get as random a sample as possible to draw as neutral an output as possible.
All of the results are based solely on what the respondents reported.
The study was conducted using a random sampling method through a survey form that was allowed to be posted on different forums on Facebook. Respondents answered the survey form and their answers were tallied automatically via the Google Drive spreadsheet. The forums were chosen based on their general topics, some were related to video games while others were related to free discussions.
By the time the survey was closed to the public and results finalized, the survey had 570 respondents. All respondents were anonymous as their name was at no point asked.
From the tallied data, analysis will come in the form of composition information, preference ranking, confessed perception and exposition. The exposition data will undergo content analysis in order to discern possible patterns arising from the responses.
As of press time 11:00PM Nov. 4, 2014 nearly 48 hours since the survey was first published, the tallies are as follows:
Total number of respondents: 528
Margin of error: 1% (to account for responses given by non-Filipinos)
Male – 87%
I made a slight error here. It seems many respondents skipped this part resulting in the missing 1%. I’ve changed it so that you can’t skip this question anymore.
This is somewhat not surprising. Gaming has always been viewed as an all-boys club but recent studies have shown that there is a balance in the sex demographic. Apparently on online Facebook forums, males simply dominate the forums. This might not reflect the actual male-female ratio of gamers in the Philippines as it may be found that females are just generally less active on online forums but more active in-game. More studies have to be done to make this finding more conclusive.
Most popular platform:
PC (Master Race) – 76%
This question asks which platform people use when playing video games. As expected, the PC or personal computer is the most popular gaming platform in the Philippines. With the plethora of computer shops catering to the public, giving gamers momentary access to PC games at reasonable prices, it’s easy to see why the PC is a popular platform.
Most popular console:
Playstation 3 – 49%
After the popularity of the Playstation 2 in the Philippines because of the availability of pirated games for it, Sony was able to keep their audience even after introducing new disc technology that set piracy back a few years. More than half of the respondents claim they play on the Playstation 3, possibly because of its availability in computer shops and partly because of the free Playstation Network as compared to the Xbox pay subscription. Between Sony and Microsoft, Filipinos go for Sony.
Most patronized distribution outlet:
Datablitz – 71%
Filipino gamers buy from Datablitz. With an overwhelming majority of respondents stating they purchase games from Datablitz, it seems the long time gaming retailer is a name no gamer can go without knowing. Even in the days when pirated discs were abundant, Datablitz stood its ground and refused to cave in to the pressures of the market. When the 6th generation of consoles hit the shelves and pirated discs were hard to come by, Datablitz reaped the fruits of its labor and became one of the most trusted stores for Filipino gamers.
Most owned gaming platform:
PC – 68%
It seems that Filipinos not only like to play on PC’s but also tend to own one. Probably because it’s easier to justify than other gaming platforms, the PC is a gaming staple for Filipino homes. With good graphics cards for video editing also comes good graphics for gaming. Rigs can usually be built for work and play at the same time, so for some, the rig pays for itself. It’s also notable that as of press time, 89.5% of respondents who claim they play games on a PC also claim they own a PC, which means Filipinos.
Most owned console:
Playstation 3 – 41%
Like the PC, with more people playing on the Playstation 3, there was a higher chance more people owned one.
No consoles modified – 56%
Some consoles modified – 38%
It’s not a secret, video game piracy is rampant in the Philippines, and why wouldn’t it be? Until the rise of online gaming and massive game worlds, there was nearly no distinguishable difference between playing on a licensed disc and a pirated or modded version of the game. Most of the respondents opted to keep their consoles un-modified but a 38% have in one way or another tweaked their consoles to run 3rd party software or games. The rest, I’m just going to assume they’re PC gamers.
18-28 – 68%
Most respondents declared their ages to be within the ranges 18-22 (35%) and 23-28 (33%). This does not come as a surprise as this is usually the age range of people who engage in online discussions and are active on forums. The age range also indicates that most of the respondents are in that point in life where people usually start actually developing career paths.
How educated are gamers:
Bachelor’s degree holders – 35%
Master’s degree holders – 26%
Filipino gamers are educated, or at least the ones that answered the survey. Among all the respondents, most declared to have finished a bachelor’s degree while in 2nd place are those who claim to be master’s degree holders. If consistent with actual trends, this might be an indicator that people do not “out grow” games as they become more educated. In fact, the number of respondents that claim to have finished high school is outnumbered by those that claim to have finished college.
Not a student’s pass-time:
Students – 44%
Non-students – 50%
The community is not overwhelmingly dominated by professionals or dropouts as the divide is nearly down the middle.
Pokemon – 48%
At first I thought it was because my sample consisted of only the Pokemon groups, but even with the inclusion of other gaming groups the results stayed the same. Pokemon, followed by DotA is the most commonly played game in the Philippines as reported by the respondents.
Importance of gaming:
This graph illustrates the perception of Filipinos toward gaming. It’s apparently a bit important with many answering on the high end of the scale.
Importance of graphics:
This shows how Filipinos give importance to graphics. Most rank it at “8” on a scale of “10” with “10” being the highest. It shows graphics is a consideration for games.
Importance of story:
This shows that narrative and story is an integral part of Filipino gamer preference. Filipinos like stories in their games, apparently. Which is nice.
The findings here only represent a very rough representation of the Filipino gaming community. The study will continue to receive data from other respondents and will be updated accordingly should any new trends arise.
The summary of the raw data and other data analysis will be posted when the survey has concluded.
The researcher realizes there are a lot of flaws to the methodology and also analysis. I hope that with this kick starter study, future studies will be made that will improve on the flaws present in this study. I also hope that the speculations raised by this study with quantified data can be useful to identifying areas of interest for future research on the topic.
The “G” word:
Yes, I’m a gamer – 89%
A vast majority of respondents identified themselves as gamers. 20% of females did not identify as gamers. Only 9% of males did not identify as gamers. It shows that females had a higher tendency to avoid the “gamer” label for one reason or another. Other identified as “gamer girl” or “not so much” as though being female made it more difficult to carry the gamer label.
A big thank you to all the respondents and the groups where I posted the survey which got more than 500 responses in 2 days.
- Pokemon Filipino Players United
- Filipino Freethinkers
- Philippine Atheists and Agnostics Society
- Rational Filipino
- Playstation Philippines
- Falcons 3DS
- Humanist Alliance Philippines International
- Saksi ni Professor Sycamore
- Smash Bros Philippines
- Pilipinas Got Pokemon
- Pinoy 3DS
- Starcraft PH
- Diablo PH
- The Adamson Chronicle
- All my friends of Facebook who took the survey