Skip to main content


Who's cheating, and why? Explore the ethics of video games at Thinking Out Loud 2016

Concordia professor Mia Consalvo and Wired columnist Clive Thompson kick things off on January 28
January 13, 2016

Concordia’s signature public engagement series, Thinking Out Loud (TOL), brings together the university's researchers and faculty members with thought leaders for rousing discussions on timely topics.

It begins on Thursday, January 28 with Games, Ethics and How We Connect.

Clive Thompson, author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better, will join Concordia’s Mia Consalvo, a professor in the Department of Communication Studies and Canada Research Chair in Game Studies and Design, for a conversation on how games help us interact socially, the ethics of communications technologies and the impact of online activities on our off-line lives.

To prepare you for the discussion, we've compiled some interesting data about the growing presence of games, and how we interact with them.



Gaming's growing popularity

50 per cent of Canadians are gamers. South of the border, four out of five households own a device used to play video games, and 42 per cent of Americans play video games regularly. 

The average gamer in the US is 35 years old. Meanwhile, 90 per cent of Canadian kids are gamers.


The gender balance

46 per cent of gamers are female in Canada. The number is slightly lower in the US: 44 per cent. The largest number of Canadian female gamers aged 18 to 34 (38 per cent) play on a mobile device, while 51 per cent of men in the same age group play on a dedicated game console. 

40 per cent of women prefer educational and puzzle games, while the largest number of men (42 per cent) prefer role-playing games.


A game industry leader

Canada ranks #3 in the world for video-game industry employees. There are approximately 16,000 people in the country working full-time making games.

With 348 companies, the estimated direct economic impact of the sector on th Canadian economy is $1.7 billion. The two main hubs are Montreal and Toronto.


Good vs. Evil

Among one-time participants of a game that allows players to choose either a good or evil path, 59 per cent prefer to play a good character. 

Five per cent of players chose the evil character on their first go. 

The second time? 49 per cent of respondents chose the evil character for their next playthrough, while only 15 per cent played the good character the second time.


Who's cheating?

65 per cent of respondents to a survey admitted to playing social network games to help their friends advance. 

Slightly fewer (58 per cent) played to help family members advance.

Meanwhile, 52 per cent admitted to asking friends to play a social network game in order to advance their own scores, while 50 per cent admitted to asking family members to play a game to advance their own scores. 

54 per cent admitted to asking strangers to do the same.



Sources: The Globe and Mail, Amanda Lange, Mia Consalvo and Irene Serrano Vàzquez, the Entertainment Software Association

Keen to explore the ethics of gaming? Join Mia Consalvo and Clive Thompson on January 28 at Thinking Out Loud 2016


Back to top Back to top

© Concordia University