July 13, 2021
By Stanley Pierre-Louis, President & CEO, Entertainment Software Association
We are a nation of video game players. This became increasingly clear during the global COVID-19 pandemic, as we all adapted to working, learning and playing at home. People from all walks of life reached for video games to find joy, connection and a sense of belonging when it was needed most. And games continue to be a positive source of entertainment and comfort.
This year’s 2021 Essential Facts about the Video Game Industry is a snapshot of the American video game playing community following a year of social distancing, just as the country was starting to open again. Today, nearly 227 million Americans play video games. Players across the country embrace the ability of games to inspire, provide stress relief and mental stimulation or simply bring joy through play.
We’re also increasingly playing together. More than three quarters of players play video games with others online or in person at least weekly, up from two thirds last year. And playing together is a family affair, as 74 percent of parents play games with their children at least weekly, up from 55 percent in 2020. To reflect this growth, we have included, for the first time, quotes from survey respondents to illustrate the meaningful ways video games shape our lives and show how video games will continue to shape our world.
Games transcend age, race, gender, platform and even political parties. Indeed, this is the United States of Play.