The land of grunge rock and Starbucks coffee is also the "epicenter of interactive entertainment," according to Sperling's BestPlaces, a firm that has been helping people find their own "Best Place" to live, work and retire for nearly 20 years.
BestPlaces and Microsoft today announced that based on a survey commissioned by Sperling, Seattle has become the top city in America for gaming. The survey took into account the number of video game systems owned per household (Xbox 360, Xbox, Window-based PCs, PlayStation 2 and GameCube), the number of games purchased, number of game rentals, and frequency of online gameplay via Xbox Live or Windows games, and other factors.
"The large amount of games played on Xbox Live and the high number of video games owned put Seattle at the top of list, but clearly the survey confirms that games are sweeping the U.S.," said Bert Sperling, founder of Sperling's BestPlaces.
Interestingly, metropolitan areas such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C didn't even make it into the top five. In fact, New York placed last on the list of 15 U.S. cities.
The top 15 U.S. gaming cities, according to the Sperling survey, are:
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.
Microsoft and BestPlaces, citing results from 2005 Entertainment Software Association findings, also pointed to the increasing age of the average gamer and how the gender gap is narrowing. The average age of a gamer is now 30, and 19 percent of gamers are actually older than 50. While there are still more male than female gamers, it's not as lopsided as it once was. About 55 percent of players are male and approximately 43 percent are female.