Study Shows Millennials Recognize Video Game Characters More Than Athletes and Politicians


According to a new study, many famous video game characters are far more recognizable than famous Millennial athletes and politicians.

A study of nearly 600 millennials found that some of the world’s most famous video game characters are more recognizable than famous athletes and politicians.

Players can sometimes feel like their interest is niche and they are part of a small sect of society when it comes to their hobby. That couldn’t be further from the truth, however. Look no further than the success of Detective Pikachu and the buzz around next year sonic the hedgehog for proof that video games are very common.

Indeed, a recent study by revealed that some of the world’s most famous video game characters are more popular and recognizable than you might think. Mario topped the charts with 92.3% of the 593 millennials who showed his photo correctly identifying him. Pikachu came second with 86.5% and Pac-Man third with 85.5%.


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What’s even more impressive about this research is how some of these characters compare to prominent figures from other walks of life. Attendees also viewed photos of famous politicians, athletes and musicians. Of all those shown to them, Mario came in an impressive third place. Only Donald Trump and Martin Luther King Jr. have been recognized by more people than the iconic plumber. Adolf Hitler and Cardi B, however, were further down the list.

Some of the video game characters recognized by more people than other famous faces were even more confusing/awesome. For example, 61.3% of 593 millennials correctly identified LeBron James, arguably the most famous athlete on the planet. Meanwhile, 65.7% know who Kirby is. clearly a lot of To break fans were polled for this one. Our favorite landslide victory, however, is Donkey Kong against British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, as 79.3% recognized the former, while only 53.1% knew the name of the latter.

It turns out that video games hold a bigger place in society than many of us realize, and have for some time. Many of the most recognizable characters for millennials are characters that have been around for decades, like Sonic, Luigi, Lara Croft. When you have to scroll through no fewer than 12 different video game characters on the roster before you reach the first athlete, it’s safe to say that we gamers aren’t the ones with the niche after all.


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