Video Games Remain America’s Favorite Pastime With More Than 212 Million Americans Playing Regularly

  • 07.10.2023
  • Data & Insights
  • Press Releases

Crosby Armstrong

July 10, 2023 

New research from the ESA shows breadth and depth of the video game community and  highlights developmental, social and mental benefits of play.

WASHINGTON, July 10, 2023 – The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) today released its annual 2023 Essential Facts About the U.S. Video Game Industry report. The report reveals the number of  Americans playing video games remains strong and encompasses players across all demographics  including gender, race, ethnicity and age.  

The 2023 Essential Facts report found that 65% of Americans play video games – which equates  to about 212.6 million weekly players. Players and non-players alike agree that video games provide  value to people’s lives, with 96% of all respondents saying they view video games as beneficial. 

“Video games remain a mainstay in American households, as they have for decades. Playing video games  has become the norm, as those who first learned to play on early consoles now share their joy of play  with their own children and grandchildren, resulting in an expansive and diverse player community,” said  Stanley Pierre-Louis, President and CEO of the ESA. “The Essential Facts report demonstrates that video  games not only connect us, but also enhance our sense of wellbeing.” 

This year’s report reaffirms that Americans of all ages, genders, and race/ethnicities play video games:

  • Across all ages, video game players identify as about half female (46%) and half male (53%), with  approximately 1% identifying another way or choosing not to identify for the survey.
  • The average video game player is 32 years old and has been playing video games for 21 years. 
  • A quarter of American players are under 18 (26%), 35% are 18-34, 14% are 35-44, 11% are 45-54 and 14% are 55 or older.  
  • Of adults who play video games, 72% are White, 10% are Hispanic, 8% are Black, 6% are  Asian/Pacific Islander and 4% identified as ‘other’.  

Video games bring Americans together and create communities where they otherwise might not be  traditionally possible:  

  • 80% of video game players play games with others.  
  • 71% of players say games do a good job of creating welcoming and inclusive environments.
  • The majority of players (88%) agree that games help expand their social circles, and 82% say  video games can introduce people to new friends and new relationships.  
  • 76% of U.S. parents play video games with their children. 
  • Half (50%) of players have met a good friend, spouse or significant other through games.
  • 87% of players say video games create accessible experiences for people with different physical abilities. 

Video games are widely viewed as providing developmental and mental benefits to players:

  • Players believe video games provide mental stimulation (90%) and stress relief (90%) and help  improve cognitive skills (88%). All respondents agree that video games can help build problem solving (81%) and teamwork and collaboration skills (75%).  
  • Younger (18 to 24) and older adults (65+) are especially likely to value video games for having  fun and passing time, but older adults also say games stimulate thinking and help them relax.
  • According to players, video games also inspire people (80%), help teach kids how to win and  lose in a healthy manner (74%), can be used to facilitate or supplement education in the  classroom (72%) and help improve creative skills (85%). 

Other noteworthy results from the 2023 Essential Facts include: 

  • 58% of adult video game players use multiple platforms to play – they use a combination of  mobile, consoles and/or PCs. 
  • Smartphones remain the most used device for gaming – 64% of active players use a smartphone  to play games and 12% of players exclusively use a smartphone to play games.  
  • Among U.S. adults, casual genres, including puzzle and arcade games, continue to be the most  played.  
  • Of players’ total time spent on entertainment (TV, video games, music, etc.), video games  account for a quarter of their time and are highly valued. Nearly half of players report that video  games provide the most entertainment value for money spent. 

Access the 2023 Essential Facts About the U.S. Video Game Industry report at

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

About the 2023 Essential Facts Methodology  

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) released the 2023 Essential Facts About the U.S. Video  Game Industry in July 2023. Circana conducted the annual research for ESA in April 2023 using an online methodology. The study gathered data from approximately 4,000 Americans about their video game  playing habits and attitudes. The 2023 Essential Facts About the U.S. Video Game Industry also includes  data provided by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), Circana and Sensor Tower.

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