You like to play video games?
You are in good company, according to what was recently published. 2022 Video Game Industry Essential Facts Reportwhich says that about two-thirds of Americans, more than 215 million people, play games regularly.
While this may not be surprising to many, three-quarters of gamers are over the age of 18, contradicting the common stereotype of a medium dominated by kids, tweens, and teens.
In fact, the average age of a video game player today is 33, according to the report commissioned by the Entertainment Software Association, the Washington, DC-based organization that acts as the voice and advocate for the video game industry. USA
“The fact that we see more people over the age of 45 playing than those under 18 just speaks to the growth and adoption of the game and how people, even later in life, continue to gravitate towards gaming,” he says. Stanley Pierre-Louis, ESA President and CEO, in a telephone interview with USA TODAY. “We find every gaming demographic, whether it’s on PC, console or mobile, and there’s something for everyone.”
In other words, whether you’re a daily Wordle player or slaying enemies in a fantasy RPG like Elden Ring, a player is a player.
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Find players on their phones and consoles
The most popular gaming platform? The smartphone, according to 70% of those surveyed in this study, as the “preferred” device for gaming, followed by a game console (52%), personal computer (43%), tablet/iPad (26%) and virtual reality headsets ( 7%) About 60% of respondents say they like to play games on multiple devices.
Puzzles happen to be the most popular
At 65%, puzzle games were the most popular genre.
More gamers over the age of 65 say they play to “use my brain” than any other age group (68%). For men, two-thirds also play for fun (67%) and to pass the time (66%), a similar number as women also play to pass the time (70%) and to rest and relax (66%).
“Just as interesting, perhaps, is the fact that 48% of gamers identify as female and 52% identify as male, and thus a nearly equal gender split,” adds Pierre-Louis, hinting at the popular misconception that gamers are mostly men.
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because we play
The 2022 Essential Facts about the Video Game Industry report is not just about who plays, but why people play.
The most popular reasons are that video games bring joy (93%), provide mental stimulation (91%), and relieve stress (89%).
“One area that we were encouraged to look at is the area of mental health,” says Pierre-Louis. “Particularly with the isolation caused by the pandemic, people connected through games and enjoyed shared experiences.”
“In 2020, 65% of people said they play together, which jumped to 77% in 2021 and is now an incredible 83% who play together,” she adds. “Gaming has become a great way to meet people socially and connect with family and friends, as well as the global community.”
Additionally, families also see the benefits of playing video games together, the ESA found, with 77% of parents regularly playing video games with their children.
“Our research confirms that video games contribute to positive mental well-being, help develop important life skills, and offer connection and joy,” says Pierre-Louis. “More generally, 97% of Americans agree that video games have positive benefits.”
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Diversity and inclusion
Pierre-Louis says he’s also happy to see much more inclusion in gaming, both among game developers and gamers, compared to previous years: “What we’ve seen in recent years is the encouragement of creating opportunities for people from underrepresented communities to add their voice to the gaming community, so they are now seeing more games from different perspectives, sometimes along racial lines, gender lines, from the LGBTQ+ community and with people with physical limitations.
(Pierre-Louis also cites the Xbox Adaptive Controllers as a “wonder tool” for those with gaming dexterity issues, literally “leveling the playing field”).
E3 “will return in full force” in 2023
Usually hosted by the ESA every June in Los Angeles, Expo E3 2022 was pre-emptively canceled during the omicron wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, but will be back in full force next year.
“We are excited to return in 2023 with both a digital and face-to-face event,” says Pierre-Louis. “As much as we love these digital events and as much as they reach people and we want that global reach, we also know that there is a very strong desire for people to come together, to be able to connect in person, see each other and talk. about what makes games great.”
At last year’s digital-only E3, diversity, fairness and inclusion were key themes, including the ESA announcement $1 million partnership with black girl code to help educate and support girls interested in technology and an interactive panel that discussed a Gerald A. Lawson Endowment Fund at the University of Southern California (USC), to support Black and Native American students seeking degrees college or graduate degree in video games. design and computing.