March 14, 2012

Who Plays Video Games?

The other day Trent of The Simple Dollar was talking about video games.   One or two of the readers made comments that sounded like they thought video games were only for children and express surprise that adults actually play video games.   I've seen this attitude from some adults in the past.  Some people seem to think that only children play video games or that adults shouldn't be playing video games.

I expect that this believe held by some people that video games are just for kids is an old perception holding over from decades past or held by people who they themselves do not play video games.    The video game industry has surpassed the movie industry as far as total revenue generated.   This is big business and to act as if its all just 'kids stuff' is quite frankly out of touch and a little patronizing.

I think some people may be confused about what constitutes video gaming.   People may that video gaming is only things like Call of Duty on an Xbox or playing World of Warcraft online.    If you've ever played solitaire on your computer, joined a Words with Friends game on Facebook or played Bejeweled on your cell phone then you too are a video gamer.

Below I share some facts about video game player demographics which are from a 2010 study conducted by the Entertainment Software Association.

First of all, is the common perception that video games are mostly played by children.  That is certainly not the case.  I'm 40 years old and my generation grew up on video games.   I can't think of a single person my age that I know who doesn't play video games.

The average video game player age is 34 years.

25% are under 18 years
49% are 18-49 years
26% are over 50 years

More people over the age of 50 play video games than children under the age of 18.

Not only is video gaming common among adults it is also common in most households.

67% of American homes own a gaming console and/or a PC used for entertainment software.

48% of parents play video games with their children at least weekly.

Video games aren't just for boys either.   Lots of girls and women play video games.

40% of video gamers are female and 42% of online game players are female.

When you hear about 'online gaming' you may immediately think about World of Warcraft, but you'd be forgetting about the plethora of games online like those played in Facebook or simple card games on the internet. 

Puzzle, Board Game, Game Show, Trivia, Card Games account for 42% of the online gaming.

Clearly video games are not just for children and the video gaming population is quite varied.  People of all ages and walks of life play video games.


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