Study: Liberals love Overwatch, conservatives love CoD, and everyone loves Fortnite

Study: Liberals love Overwatch, conservatives love CoD, and everyone loves Fortnite
Credit: Activision

A survey published this month suggests liberal gamers have a bit more interest in Overwatch and its like, while gamers in conservative areas are more interested in Call of Duty.

ValueGamers, a gaming research site, conducted the survey using Google Search data on the seven most popular esports games within each metro area of the United States. That interest was then cross-referenced with the area’s voting data, as gathered by Fivethirtyeight.

In the spectrum of games, Overwatch fell to the more liberal side, while Call of Duty was on the conservative side. Starcraft, meanwhile, fell in the middle.

A spokesperson for ValueGamers suggested conservative states favor the more realistic nature of Call of Duty, while liberal audiences might prefer the lighter, more cartoon-ish action of Overwatch. Fortnite didn’t exactly have a strong association either way, but the sheer popularity of that game might just transcend political lines — though Craig, the author of the survey, speculated it could be because “Fortnite players have a much larger percentage of players under the voting age.”

The company also did the same research for the top five best-selling games of the year (so far) and found that, while the association was far weaker, Far Cry 5‘s rural Montana setting did seem to attract a slightly more conservative crowd than its fellows.

The Electronic Software Association published a survey in 2015 that suggested almost half of gamers considered themselves to be conservative, and about 40 percent of them identified at liberal. That’s one of the few attempts made by a large organization, to my knowledge, to understand the political leanings of gamers. Politics and games might seem unrelated, but as anyone who remembers the dark days of Gamergate would probably agree, they aren’t — at least not anymore.

This association of info could be a complete coincidence, of course. There’s no reason a supporter of, for example, President Trump wouldn’t enjoy playing Overwatch. Also, there’s no saying the people searching for game info in those areas are all the same people who voted for the dominant candidate. But it’s a interesting peek into what games are favored in different parts of the country.

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