Poll Links ‘Frequent’ US Gamers to Libertarian Political Stances
This month’s issue of the libertarian political magazine Reason is dedicated to video games, and unsurprisingly, the issue’s massive spread of gaming stories all reflect a common political spin. For example, the “first out-and-proud gamer” in the House of Representatives talks about his libertarian ideas, a column decries the idea of tax breaks for game studios, and a best-of list aims its criteria at games “every Libertarian must play.”
The issue also includes one of the most pointed political surveys about self-proclaimed gamers’ political leanings in recent memory. According to two Reason-Rupe polls conducted in December 2013 and April 2014, gamers are more likely to fall in line with libertarian beliefs, even if they don’t identify as libertarians.
The random-call phone poll focused on the 16 percent of its 2,014 American respondents who self-identified as “frequent” gamers. When asked to identify their political affiliation, the gamers were more likely to call themselves independent (55 percent) versus non-gamers (41 percent), while fewer called themselves Republican (15 percent of gamers versus 26 percent of non-gamers). Both populations were relatively even about identifying as Democrat, though independent gamers were more likely to lean Democrat when pressed to pick a side. In addition, the gamers were much more likely to describe themselves as liberal than non-gamers (32 vs. 21 percent), and less likely to describe themselves as conservative (17 vs. 33 percent)
When asked how they felt about government bans on purchases and certain regulations, gamers seemed more amenable to the free-market than non-gamers. Unsurprisingly, 82 percent of gamers favored being allowed to play violent games compared to just 54 percent of non-gamers. Gamers were also more likely to support the use of Bitcoin and of 3D-printed guns, and they favored laws legalizing marijuana. In every question about whether government should intervene in specific activities or products, gamers were opposed to the idea more frequently than non-gamers by a margin of at least 13 percent.