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More Than 150 Million Americans Play Video Games

New Study Finds that Four out of Five American Households Own a Device Used to Play Video Games

April 14, 2015 – Washington, D.C. – More than 150 million Americans play video games, according to new research released today by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). The report, 2015 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry, also shows that 42 percent of Americans play video games regularly, or at least three hours per week.

Other key findings highlight the social nature of game play. According to the report, 56 percent of the most frequent gamers play with others and 54 percent play in multiplayer mode at least weekly. More than half of the most frequent game players say that video games help them connect with friends and about half of them say that video games enable them spend time with family.

“Video games provide a social setting where family and friends come together to connect, learn and have fun,” said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of ESA, the trade association that represents the U.S. video game industry. “The sheer number of people who regularly enjoy entertainment software and share those experiences with others underscores how video games have become ingrained in our culture.”

The report also found that about 60 percent of parents whose children are gamers play computer and video games with them at least weekly. More than three-quarters of parents say they play with their children because it is fun for the entire family and an opportunity to socialize. Additionally, 88 percent of parents whose children play games believe the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) video game ratings are either very or somewhat helpful in choosing games for their children.

“The ESRB is the gold standard for systems that for provide parents with guidance that allows them to make informed decisions,” Gallagher said.

The 2015 Essential Facts provides statistics on gamer demographics, the types of games played and the kinds of game platforms used, the top-selling video games and other industry sales information.

Notable findings include:

  • The average game player is 35 years old;
  • The most frequent female game player is on average 43 years old;
  • Women 18 years or older represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population than boys 18 years old or younger;
  • On average, gamers have been playing for 13 years; and
  • Consumers spent more than $22.41 billion on game content, hardware and accessories in 2014.

Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry is the most in-depth and targeted annual survey of its kind. It is conducted for ESA by Ipsos MediaCT, which surveyed more than 4,000 American households.

ESA offers a wide range of services to interactive entertainment software publishers, including conducting business and consumer research, providing legal and policy analysis and advocacy on First Amendment, intellectual property and technology/e-commerce issues, managing a global content protection program, owning and operating E3 and representing video game industry interests in federal and state government relations. For more information, visit ESA’s website or follow us on Twitter at @RichatESA or @ESAGovAffairs.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: An infographic highlighting key findings from the 2015 Essential Facts is available here.

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