June 7, 2022
New research shows uptick in recognizing diverse benefits of video games, including bringing people of different backgrounds together, improving cognitive skills and providing stress relief
WASHINGTON – June 7, 2022 – The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) today released the findings of its 2022 Essential Facts About the Video Game Industry report. The report shows that players are of all ages and backgrounds and illustrates how the industry continues to impact people, culture and the economy – with 97% of all Americans now seeing the benefits of video games.
“Last year, we saw the pandemic accelerate the growth of gameplay across the country, as people of all ages turned to video games – whether to relax, maintain community, exercise or learn something new,” President and CEO of the ESA Stanley Pierre-Louis said. “This year’s report demonstrates the impact video games continue to have – supporting wellness and mental health, strengthening relationships, providing community, facilitating skills development and introducing people to new places, cultures and ideas.”
Following a record-breaking number of people playing video games in 2021, the new Essential Facts report shows that as the country emerges from the pandemic, people remain highly engaged with and inspired by video games. According to the 2022 report, more than 65% of Americans play video games – which translates to more than 215.5 million players from all walks of life – and gameplay time continues to rise among players, with average weekly time at 13 hours, up 7% from 2021.
There was also an uptick in the proportion of players who view games as beneficial to skills development, mental health and community building:
- 89% of players say video games provide stress relief, while 88% say video games help improve cognitive skills.
- 88% percent of players agree that video games bring different types of people together, while 83% say games introduce people to new friends and relationships, a 5 percentage point increase from 2021.
- 61% of players say video games have helped them stay connected with family, an 8 percentage point increase from 2021, and even more parents (77%) are playing video games with their children.
- 89% of all Americans view video games as useful for building skills, with problem-solving as the leading skill (82%).
- Other skills saw increases, including conflict resolution at 63% (up 8 percentage points from 2021) and leadership skills at 61% (up 7 percentage points from 2021).
Other notable results include:
- 69% of households have at least one video game player.
- Nearly one third of adult video game players are parents.
- Smartphones are the most common device for playing games – 70% of players use their phones for play, while 18% solely use their phones.
- Casual genres, such as matching, brain puzzles, party, music and dance, and exercise games, continue to be the most played.
The ESA’s 2022 consumer survey was conducted using online methodology. A 15-minute questionnaire was completed by a representative sample of 4,011 US consumers ages 18 and older in February 2022 (margin of error +/- 2%). Video game players who play at least one hour a week are a subset of this total, representing 2,548 of respondents. The survey defines video games as games that may be played on a console, personal computer, mobile device, VR device, etc. These games could include computer and console video games, social games, mobile augmented reality games, virtual reality games and “edutainment” games.
You can access the complete 2022 Essential Facts Report at https://www.theesa.com/resource/2022-essential-facts-about-the-video-game-industry/.
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About the ESA
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) serves as the voice and advocate for the U.S. video game industry. Its members are the innovators, creators, publishers and business leaders that are reimagining entertainment and transforming how we interact, learn, connect and play. The ESA works to expand and protect the dynamic marketplace for video games through innovative and engaging initiatives that showcase the positive impact of video games on people, culture and the economy. For more information, visit the ESA’s website or follow the ESA on Twitter @theESA.