Gadget-loving dads are hogging family devices and controllers so they can indulge in games such as FIFA, Candy Crush and Fortnite.
Research shows that ‘Digital Dads’ have maintained their love affair with tech, sparked by the likes of PlayStation, Blackberry and Xbox, and now indulge online games, livestreamed esport matches and even experiment with Virtual reality (VR).
When they’re not battling it out for supremacy in a post-apocalyptic world, leading their team to footballing glory or blasting through pieces on Candy Crush, dads are catching up with pals on social media.
A study of 16,000 people revealed that two-thirds (59%) of British dads aged between 25 and 44 play computer or video games, like FIFA or Fortnite, every week.
More than half (56%) also say they play mobile games like Candy Crush while 84% use social media to keep up with pals.
In contrast, less than one-third (29%) of female Brits aged between 25 and 44 years old find the time to play computer or video games, like FIFA or Fortnite, every week.
Deputy Managing Director of Digital at Entain Dom Grounsell said: “Enthusiasm for gaming, mobile, and more social forms of interactive entertainment, is far from confined to younger generations.
“People of all ages, particularly middle-aged dads, enjoy gaming and seem to love experimenting with new and exciting content.
“It seems dads are taking the opportunity to put their feet up and enjoy some ‘me’ time through online gaming.
“We’re developing new interactive entertainment experiences, with more gaming and social features, because it’s increasingly clear this is what people want.”
The results of the survey, by gaming group Entain, certainly challenges the notion that gaming is predominantly the domain of ‘Zoomers’ (adults up to the age of 22).
Despite Digital Dads nipping at the heels of tech-savvy kids, Zooomers do reign supreme.
Adults under the age of 24 are the biggest video gamers, with 53% playing computer or video games every week.
While those in the 25-34 bracket and 35-44 age range don’t lag too far behind (at 46% and 36% respectively).
A vast majority (85% of 35-44-year-olds, and 89% of 25-34-year-olds) also use platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok in a typical week – just slightly behind younger cohorts, with 92% of adults under the age of 24 engaging on social media.
The same can be said for esports, though at a smaller rate.
Of those quizzed, 10% of adults under the age of 24 say they watch esports on platforms like Twitch on a weekly basis, closely followed by 9% of 25-34-year-olds and 6% of 35-44-year-olds.
There is also a clear link between betting and gaming. Entain’s research shows that video gamers are more than four times more likely to bet or participate in online gaming than non-gamers, and more open to using social features.
Other research studies commissioned by Entain show how interest in new technologies among the global adult population will continue to grow.
A global study of 20,000 adults across 16 markets reveal that 37% of adults in the UK expect to watch esports in the future, more than twice as many who currently do so (15%).
In the US, the same study found 40% of adults expect to watch esports in the future (compared to 17% currently).
This increases further with our European counterparts – with 52% in Italy (compared to 22% currently) and 55% in Spain (versus 21% currently).
And it’s not just gaming and social media grabbing people’s attention, with another Entain study revealing that interest in immersive gaming experiences is highest among 35-44-year-olds.
Of this age range, 60% of Entain’s digital customers claim to be ‘very interested in VR, compared to 57% of adults under the age of 35.