Two-Thirds of Parents Embrace Video Games as a Family Pastime

  • 05.14.2018
  • Press Releases

New report shows video games bring Americans together

WASHINGTON – May 14, 2018 – More than two-thirds of American parents play video games with their children at least once a week, according to a new study released today by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). The report, 2018 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry, reveals the number one reason parents play video games with their children is because it is fun for everyone. More than half of American parents say they enjoy playing video games as much as their children.

“This study shows that indeed everyone is a gamer,” said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of ESA, the trade association that represents the US video game industry. “Video games give the tradition of family game night a 21st century upgrade that appeals to people of all ages and backgrounds. Our industry’s talented creators are redefining storytelling in a way that brings people together through spectacular interactive and social entertainment.”

The report also shows 70 percent of parents believe video games have a positive influence on their children’s lives, and that the overwhelming majority of parents trust video game ratings and parental controls. Eighty-two percent of parents of children who regularly play video games are familiar with Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) ratings, and of those parents, 95 percent are confident ESRB ratings are accurate and 94 percent find the parental controls available on video game consoles useful.

Other notable findings include the following:

  • Sixty-four percent of US households own at least one device they use to play video games.
  • The average gamer is 34 years old, and gamers age 18 or older represent more than 70 percent of the video game-playing population.
  • Adult women represent a greater portion of the video game-playing population (33 percent) than boys under age 18 (17 percent).
  • More than half of the most frequent gamers in a household play multiplayer video games with others at least once a week.
  • Nine out of 10 parents are present when their children acquire a video game.
  • The average age of the most frequent video game purchaser in a household is 36.

The report underscores the video game industry’s impact on the US economy. In 2017, consumers spent $36 billion on the video game industry, compared to $30.4 billion in 2016. The industry contributes $11.7 billion in value to US GDP, fueling the employment of more than 220,000 Americans.

Read the full 2018 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry here.

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


About ESA

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 in federal and state government relations. For more information, visit ESA’s website or follow ESA on Twitter @theESA or @ESAGovAffairs.


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