Swedes choose computer games over sports: study

Computer games are nearly three times more popular among Swedes than football and ice hockey combined, according to a new study.

A survey conducted by the SIFO polling company for computer chip maker Intel reveals that 17 percent of Swedes play computer games regularly, while only 5 percent of respondents listed football and 1 percent listed ice hockey as activities in which they engaged during a normal week.

And when asked what activities they had undertaken in the past year, nearly 40 percent of those polled said computer games, compared to 24 percent who mentioned football and only 3 percent indicating ice hockey.

The study also showed that, on average, 61 percent of Swedes exercise regularly, while the corresponding figure for computer gamers is 74 percent.

“That computer gamers are couch potatoes is another common misperception. Intel’s trend barometer shows that’s not the case, and rather that computer gamers actually participate in athletics to a higher degree than the average Swede,” said Nicklas Aglert, a consumer products market developer for Intel, in a statement.

Algert said the trend barometer also pokes holes in the common perception of computer gamers as loners and asocial.

According to the study, more than half of respondents, 54 percent, say they play computer games with others and 12 percent report they’ve found new friends through their hobby.

“A majority of computer gamers normally play together with others, either over a network, or with friends in the same room,” said Aglert.

The trend barometer is based on responses given in telephone interviews with 1,000 Swedes aged 15 and older.

The interviews were carried out by SIFO between October 29th and November 4th, 2008.