65% of American Adults Enjoy Playing Video Games

  • 05.09.2019
  • Data & Insights

New study debunks common misconceptions associated with video game players

WASHINGTON – May 9, 2019 – More than 164 million adults in the United States play video games, and three-quarters of all Americans have at least one video game player in their household, according to a new survey entitled “2019 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry,” which the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) released today. The ESA reports that 93% of American households own a smartphone and, of those, almost half of them use it to play video games. After announcing a record-breaking $43.4 billion in industry revenue for 2018, for the first time the ESA took a comprehensive look at the individual Americans who enjoy video games and their lifestyles to better understand their interests.

The study shows that these individuals represent a cross-section of the American population and are diverse, active, engaged in their communities, and see video games as a positive force in society. In fact, more than three-quarters reported that video games provide them with mental stimulation (79%) as well as relaxation and stress relief (78%). Video game players are engaged civically, with 59% reporting they will vote in the next presidential election. More than half (52%) are college educated. They are also just as likely to have hobbies and interests outside of video game playing, with 56% of video game players more likely to have a creative hobby such as drawing, singing, or writing. Video games bring people together in a fun, innovative way, with 63% reporting that they play games with others online or in person.

“This is the golden age of video games. They are the leading form of entertainment in American culture. They enhance our interconnected experiences and relationships with one another and redefine the intersection between humans and technology,” said acting President and CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis with the ESA, the trade association that represents the U.S. video game industry. “Americans play video games to have fun, relieve stress, learn, and spend time with family. This innovative form of entertainment touches on every part of society and improves how we play, work, and live.”

In addition to the above, the survey also revealed:

  • Video game players are more likely to pursue healthier lifestyles averaging seven hours of sleep during a weeknight, while 32% meditate regularly;
  • 90% of parents pay attention to the games their child plays, and 57% of parents enjoy playing games with their child at least weekly;
  • 74% of parents believe video games can be educational for their children;
  • 84% of parents state they are aware of video game ratings; and,
  • Women make up 46% of video game players.

The U.S. video game industry is one of the nation’s fastest-growing economic sectors and provides more than 220,000 jobs in all 50 states, and more than 520 colleges and universities in 46 states offer programs or degrees related to video games.

Read the full report 2019 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry here. Ipsos conducted the research for the ESA and surveyed more than 4,000 Americans.


ESA offers a wide range of services to interactive entertainment software companies, 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 before federal and state governments. For more information, visit ESA’s website or follow ESA on Twitter @theESA.

Share this post

FacebookLinkedInXCopy LinkEmail