“Gaming is productive. It produces positive emotion, stronger social relationships, a sense of accomplishment, and for players who are a part of a game community, a chance to build a sense of purpose.”
-Jane McGonigal, PhD, author of Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World
The video game community has done nothing but grow in the past few years. Just about everyone you can talk to has a PC or game console. They might even have a handheld system laying aroud the house. According to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), 72% of American households play video games. Take a moment to think about that. That means almost every person you talk to has some way to play video games in their house.
The average gamer is 37 years old. 53% of gamers are between the ages of 18 and 49. Only 18% are under 18. 29% of gamers are above the age of 50. The old argument that games are for children is starting to become fairly invalid.
A lot of people say that gamers are always nerdy males shutting themselves away to play games day and night. The ESA has some news for those who would sling that statement around. 42% of all gamers are female. That is a statistic that has been steadily rising over the past few years and it seems it will stay strong.
Even though there are plenty of people playing games these days, most gamers would say the majority are “casual gamers”, a term that has recently become more common over the years. Casual gamers are difficult to define as one group, as the perception of what a casual gamer is varies from person to person. Most often it means that it is someone who has little more than a fleeting interest in games, opts to play only the games that have rules or controls that are simple, or buys “pick-up-and-play” games that someone at any age level could easily understand. That being said, 47% of gamers most often play puzzle, trivia, card, game show, and board games online. 13% most often play downloadable games. 11% are most often found player in a persistent multi-player universe. 21% of gamers are playing action, sports, strategy, and RPG’s the most. If most gamers are casual gamers is a matter of opinion.
65% of gamers today play their games with friends and family in person, also a statistic that has slowly, but surely risen over the years. Some would use this fact to say that, depending on the game(s), this industry has the potential to help family and friends all bond to bring us closer to each other.
The average number of years the adult gamer has been playing is 12. Over a decade of playing video games. That’s many years of fueling money into the industry. The most frequent male gamer has been playing for an average of 13 years, while the most frequent female gamer has been playing for an average of 10.
The gaming industry pulls in a ton of money. Here’s a quote from Michael Gallagher, president and CEO of the ESA:
“[The gaming industry] generates over $25 billion in annual revenue, and directly and indirectly employs more than 120,000 people with an average salary for direct employees of $90,000.”
It’s safe to say that video games are a huge part of our economy.