Photos: Ten best cities for gamers -- and Denver's score
It's two, two, two lists in one.
Our friends at Movoto.com recently compiled their roster of the ten best cities for gamers, and as is often the case in rankings like these, Denver finished very near the top. Bonus: To illustrate the selections (and text from Movoto explaining its methodology), we feature images from the ten best-selling video games of 2013 so as calculated by CNBC. It's a double countdown -- so better press play!
Number 10: San Jose, California
Far Cry 3 -- the 10th best selling video game of 2013 so far.
How'd We Do It (Part 1)
Before we could celebrate saving the princess, we first needed an idea of what makes a city great for video gamers. It turns out that this question is harder to answer than trying to take down Onyxia in Vanilla WoW. (Freaking whelps!)
Why? The definition of a "gamer" is all over the place. There are casual gamers, hardcore gamers, PC and console gamers, and, lest you forget, smartphone-tapping gamers.
In fact, a recent study found that 211 million people in the United States play some type of video games.
Number 9: Kansas City, Missouri
God of War: Ascension -- the 9th best-selling video game of 2013 so far.
How'd We Do It (Part 2)Continue counting down the ten best cities for gamers -- and the ten best-selling video games of 2013 so far. Number 8: Mesa, Arizona
With this in mind, we decided to include everyone in our definition, and then brainstormed the types of things people need to have a good gaming experience. This led us to these five categories:
• Arcades per person • Internet service providers per person • Game stores per person • A city's demographics • Membership in the Entertainment Consumers Association
Like our previous analyses of cities, we ranked each cosmo and then took the average score of our five criteria.
Gears of War: Judgment -- the eighth best-selling video game of 2013 so far.
If You Never Played X-Men in an Arcade, Go Home (Part 1)
Take a moment to lament the death of America's arcades; once, these loud fun houses filled America's strip-mall landscape. Now they're all but gone, and so is a piece of our childhood. Yes, there are large sanitized arcades that still exist such as Dave and Buster's, but these just don't have the same appeal as a grimy hole-in-the-wall that took actual quarters.
Number 7: Sacramento, California
Just Dance 4 -- the 7th best-selling video game of 2013 so far.
If You Never Played X-Men in an Arcade, Go Home (Part 2)Continue counting down the ten best cities for gamers -- and the ten best-selling video games of 2013 so far. Number 6: Long Beach, California
We picked arcades because there is a thriving community of gamers who still flock to these diamond-in-the-rough establishments. If there's an arcade, and we mean a good arcade, in your area, chances are there will be a group of gamers ready to grab a joystick and button mash.
We used Yelp to figure out the number of arcades in each city.
Dead Space 3 -- the 6th best-selling video game of 2013 so far.
This should be a no-brainer. Gamers need video games and video game accessories. (This sentence should be read in Hank Hill's voice. Get with the program people.)
We used Yelp to find the number of video game establishments in a city. Think Gamestop and your local mom-and-pop stores.
Number 5: Long Beach, California
Tomb Raider -- the 5th best-selling video game of 2013 so far.
Demographics (Part 1)Continue counting down the ten best cities for gamers -- and the ten best-selling video games of 2013 so far. Number 4: San Francisco, California
Not everyone enjoys the rush of gathering 25 random people together to destroy an undead king made of pixels. But we have a strong idea of who plays video games. And no, it isn't just guys living in their mom's basement or crashing on their friend's couch.
According to the Entertainment Software Association, the average video game player is 30 years old and male. (Maybe ESA ignored all the 13-year-old kids playing shooters.) We weren't entirely surprised by these figures, but we were surprised by some stats when we dug into the research.
Injustice: Gods Among Us -- the 4th best-selling video game of 2013 so far.
Demographics (Part 2)
It turns out that 53 percent of gamers are male. By default 47 percent are female. And no, the ladies aren't just playing "Hello Kitty's Island Adventure." Take that, stereotypes!
To come up with this figure, we looked at the demographics of each city and found the percentage of the population between 18 and 34 years old.
Number 3: Denver, Colorado
NBA 2K13 -- the third best-selling video game of 2013 so far.
Entertainment Consumer AssociationContinue counting down the ten best cities for gamers -- and the ten best-selling video games of 2013 so far. Number 2: Seattle, Washington
It's not all about playing games. Sometimes it's about defending your favorite game. This is where the Entertainment Consumer Association comes in. ECA is a not-for-profit organization that helps consumers in the United States and Canada advocate for a wide variety of gaming issues.
While not having an ECA chapter in your community probably won't hurt you, we did give a slight bump to those cities with an existing ECA chapter, or one close-by. For example, in San Francisco's case there is a chapter around the corner in Emeryville.
Bioshock Infinite -- the 2nd best-selling video game of 2013 so far.
Internet Service Providers
We hate lag. We, hate, hate, hate lag. But we love the Internet -- probably more than we love our moms. And there can be no Internet without lag.
We chose Internet service providers because social gaming is a big deal. Running around shooting your friends is what makes most games fun.
We looked at Yelp and figured out the number of Internet service providers per person in each city. We wanted to make sure our hardcore gamers had a choice of which Internet company to use when looking to frag some pals.
Number 1: Atlanta, Georgia
Call of Duty: Black Ops II -- the best-selling video game of 2013 so far.
Atlanta is Better than Seattle
After the scores were tallied, Atlanta came out on top. Just stick with your hipsters, Seattle. Atlanta gamers, feel free to start tea-bagging.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Westword's biggest stories.
- Tara Breed, R.I.P.: Denver Woman Dies in 100-Foot Fall From Paiute Peak
- Donald Trump on "Big Problems" With CO Pot Laws, Flip-Flop on Legalizing Drugs
- Reader: $29,000 Per Year Isn't Enough for an Adequate Standard of Living in Denver