ESA’s™ Original Data: Video Gaming Statistics & Facts

by Ruth Anderson

Dear journalists/bloggers,

We understand that original data and statistics are necessary to back-up your statements.

While the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has sourced this data, it seems to have been removed from ESA's site. Therefore, we have attempted our best to scour the web, fact-check and recreate the original data about the gaming industry.

Feel free to cite or update your data sources. 


The average age of today’s gamer is 31

The average number of years gamers have been playing is 14

71% of gamers are age 18 or older.

48% of gamers are female.

62% of gamers play games with others, either in-person or online.

53% of gamers play games on their smartphones.

41% of gamers play on their wireless device.

Parents of Gamers

91% of parents are present when games are purchased or rented.

88% of parents feel that the Entertainment Software Rating Board rating system is helpful in choosing games for their children.

87% of parents believe that the parental controls available in all new video game consoles are useful.

68% of parents believe game play provides mental stimulation or education.

55% of parents believe game play helps the family to spend to time together.




2. Top 10 facts about the gaming industry

1. US computer and video game software sales grew six percent in 2007 to $9.5 billion – more than tripling industry software sales since 1996.

2. Sixty-seven percent of American heads of households play computer and video games.  

3. The average game player is 33 years old and has been playing games for 12 years.

4. The average age of the most frequent game buyer is 38 years old. In 2007, 92 percent of computer game buyers and 80 percent of console game buyers were over the age of 18.

5. Eighty-five percent of all games sold in 2007 were rated "E" for Everyone, "T" for Teen, or "E10+" for Everyone 10+.  For more information on ratings, please see www.esrb.org.

6. Eighty-six percent of game players under the age of 18 report that they get their parents’ permission when renting or buying games, and 91 percent say their parents are present when they buy games.

7. Thirty-six percent of American parents say they play computer and video games. Further, 80 percent of gamer parents say they play video games with their kids. Sixty-six percent feel that playing games has brought their families closer together.

 8. Thirty-eight percent of all game players are women. In fact, women over the age of 18 represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (31%) than boys age 17 or younger (20%).

9. In 2007, 24 percent of Americans over the age of 50 played video games, an increase from nine percent in 1999.

10. Forty-nine percent of game players say they play games online one or more hours per week. In addition, 34 percent of heads of households play games on a wireless device, such as a cell phone or PDA, up from 20 percent in 2002.


3. Facts index



4. GAME PLAYER DATA


How Many Americans Play Games?

  • Sixty-nine percent of American heads of households play computer and video games.

Who Purchases Computer and Video Games?

  • Ninety-three percent of people who make the actual purchase of computer games and 83% of people who make the actual purchase of video games are 18 years of age or older. The average age of the game buyer is 40 years old.

How Long Have Gamers Been Playing?

  • Adult gamers have been playing an average of 12 years. Among most frequent gamers, adult males average 10 years for game playing, females for 8 years.

Will Gamers Keep Playing?

  • Fifty-three percent of game players expect to be playing as much or more ten years from now than they do today.

Who Plays Computer and Video Games?

For Computer Gamers...

  • Thirty percent of most frequent game players are under eighteen years old.

  • Twenty-six percent of most frequent game players are between 18 and 35 years old.

  • Forty-four percent of most frequent game players are over 35 years old.

For Console Gamers...

  • Forty percent of most frequent game players are under eighteen years old.

  • Thirty-five percent of most frequent game players are between 18 and 35 years old.

  • Twenty-five percent of most frequent game players are over 35 years old.

What about Women Gamers?

  • Thirty-eight percent of game players are women.

  • Women age 18 or older represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (30%) than boys age 17 or younger (23%)

How Much Time Is Spent Playing Games? 

  • The average adult woman plays games 7.4 hours per week.  The average adult man plays 7.6 hours per week. Though males spend more time playing than do females, the gender/time gap has narrowed significantly.  Whereas in 2003, males spent an average of 18 more minutes a day playing games than did their female counterparts, in 2004 they spent ony six minutes more each day doing so.  Females spend an average of two hours more per week playing games now than they did a year ago.

How many Gamers Play Games Online?

  • Forty-four percent of most frequent game players say they play games online, up from 31% in 2002.

Who Plays Games Online?

  • Fifty-eight of online game players are male.

  • Forty-two percent of online game players are female.

What Other Activities are Gamers Involved In?

  • Gamers devote more than triple the amount of time spent playing games each week to exercising or playing sports, volunteering in the community, religious activities, creative endeavours, cultural activities, and reading.

  • In total, gamers spend 23.4 hours per week on these activities, compared to 6.8 hours per week playing games.

  • Seventy-nine percent of game players of all ages report exercising or playing sports an average of 20 hours a month.

  • Forty-five percent of gamers volunteer an average 5.4 hours per month.

  • Ninety-three percent of game players also report reading books or daily newspapers on a regular basis, while sixty-two percent consistently attend cultural events, such as concerts, museums, or the theater.

  • Fifty percent of gamers are regularly involved in creative activities, such as painting, writing, or playing an instrument. In addition, adult gamers exhibit a high level of interest in current events, with 94 percent following news and current events, and 78 percent reporting that they vote in most of the elections for which they are eligible.


Leave a Comment