Who is a gamer? What kind of people are perceived to be gamers? And finally – who perceives themselves as a gamer? In this article the authors attempt to answer these three questions from a multinational perspective.

Background. Games are nowadays one of the most frequently encountered forms of entertainment and constitute an ever-increasing part of many people’s day-to-day lives. With the rising popularity of video games, there is a need to conduct a research concerning gamer identity and to find out who perceives themselves as a gamer. The aim of this study is to compare the results of the survey conducted in two different countries to better understand the characteristics of players that self-identified as gamers.

Methods. The quantitative study was conducted in two countries – Poland and the United States – in order to research gamer identity. The questionnaire consisted of questions about the self-identification as a gamer, time spent playing video games, types of games played, and the platforms used. It was conducted among 223 students who play video games.

Results. The results show that there are both similarities and differences in the meaning of gamer identity between Poland and the United States. People who consider themselves gamers generally spend more time playing games than non-gamers regardless of the country. However, some differences can be spotted between Poland and the U.S. concerning among others types of games played, used platforms or different styles of playing video games.

Limitations and further research. The main problem in the study was the limited age range in the sample. In the future it seems valuable to include people of different age groups to broaden the study of self-identified gamer identity.

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Published in Simulation & Gaming, v. 51, issue 6.

© The Author(s) 2020

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).

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