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68 percent of American households are gamers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 03 Jun 2009 23:09 User comments (16)

68 percent of American households are gamers According to new figures from the Entertainment Software Association, 68 percent of American households play video games, an increase of just over 3 percent from 2008.
The report, presented at the E3 Expo, also added that "home console ownership" moved to 42 percent.

Adult gamers have been playing video games for, on average, 12 years, which actually fell year-on-year from 13, suggesting there is an increasing amount of new gamers. The average age of gamers now stands at 35 years old.

"This is the new golden age of entertainment software. Our products are now being enjoyed by over two-thirds of Americans," added Michael Gallagher, CEO of the ESA. "As the findings of the 2009 Essential Facts illustrate, more and more Americans across all demographics are now embracing the interactive entertainment experience that computer and videogames provide."

In terms of parental controls, 77 percent of parents said they believed current controls were "useful" and 92 percent said they were with their kids while they played games.

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16 user comments

13.6.2009 23:43

This bothers me...

24.6.2009 0:25

Haha, just imagine, parents used to get mad at their kids for playing video games for too long. Now kids, are going to be fighting with their parents to see who gets to play first.

34.6.2009 0:51

What is the definition of "gamer" being used by ESA? Because 35 seems pretty high as an average age unless you factor in the adults who play the occasional solitaire at work or maybe the Wii with their family. But ESA has been claiming the average gamer is in their 30s long before the Wii so that can't be it. Single males in their teens and (especially) twenties drive the gaming industry. They are the ones who pre-order the games and buy them at launch week. That's when most sales happen for games.

44.6.2009 1:06

Quote:
Single males in their teens and (especially) twenties drive the gaming industry. They are the ones who pre-order the games and buy them at launch week. That's when most sales happen for games.
I can not speak for everyone but I am one of the people in the 30's that pre-orders and what not.

54.6.2009 15:37

Meh since its done by part of the emdia federation I'd say drop it be 30-50% and it could be right....

64.6.2009 17:37

A LAN party where I live consist of 25+ aged people...

74.6.2009 17:40

I am more targeting casual casuals if you game less than once a week you are not a gamer and I would stipulate that if you game on crappy shovel ware titles your not a gamer either.

85.6.2009 2:55

I'm 31 and I'm a gamer. Play like 2-3 hrs a day (mostly late at night when my wife and kid are sleeping). Have a regular day job. But still this statistic surprised me.

95.6.2009 19:21

I don't see how some find this hard to believe. Video games are becoming the new "TV" due to a number of factors. But, if you look at the sales numbers for PC/Console games and consoles, its kind of hard to rationalize that only a small portion of the population is purchasing millions upon millions of units yearly. What they need to do is define "gamer". Everyone has their own definition of what a gamer is. For some, you're a gamer if you play Mine Sweeper at work during lunch. For others, you have to log some serious hours on a serious game to even be considered for the title. Any way you look at it, though, its a good time to be in the gaming industry.

105.6.2009 20:39

Well the article title the E.S.A. supply is a bit misleading as their data was gathered "from almost 1,200 nationally representative households that have been identified as owning either or both a video game console or a personal computer used to run entertainment software." So 68% of homes with a console or a computer used to run entertainment software are gamer households. If One knew the percentage of american homes which do not fulfil either of the above criteria then one could extrapolate the true percentage of american gamer households.

As for the semantic argument about what qualifies as a gamer, I think anyone who has played video games on one or more occasion, and intends to again with any regularity, might consider themselves a gamer. Anything after that is just differences of scale. Even if I only smoke 1 ciggarette a week I'm still a smoker (just an extra light one), and If I played my first video game last week and intend to try play again regularly then I can label myself a gamer (a person who enjoys playing video games).

On the age thing, you have to remember that the 35+ year olds of today (and there are a lot of us) are the Atari/Snes/Amiga CD 32(in my case) players of yesteryear. A lot of them will still consider themselves gamers, even if they mostly only get time to play games with their kids.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 Jun 2009 @ 21:10

115.6.2009 23:05

Good! TV sucks. Interactive is where it's at. It was stupid when I grew up because I couldn't play more than a half-hour to an hour before somebody would get on me for playing too many video games and getting "addicted" or some crap like that. Meanwhile the adults were watching 3 hours of TV a day and if I joined them it was no problem. Personally, I would much rather see my kids doing something interactive than tuning-out and rotting their brain in front of the TV with garbage programming. I'll "program" myself thank you!

126.6.2009 4:42

Originally posted by inagasake:
What is the definition of "gamer" being used by ESA? Because 35 seems pretty high as an average age unless you factor in the adults who play the occasional solitaire at work or maybe the Wii with their family. But ESA has been claiming the average gamer is in their 30s long before the Wii so that can't be it. Single males in their teens and (especially) twenties drive the gaming industry. They are the ones who pre-order the games and buy them at launch week. That's when most sales happen for games.
how old is the NES,i was in my early twenties when that was all the rage back in 83,i'm now 44 so tell me again what the average age of a gamer is & with every passing year that average increases none of us are getting any younger including you,perhaps your talking about forums like the sony forums down under where the majority are punk 20 y/o's :P

136.6.2009 13:43

No one seems to care of the casual component not only do they weaken qaulity they are not going to care is violent or sexual content is banned?

146.6.2009 20:10

Quote: Adult gamers have been playing video games for, on average, 12 years, which actually fell year-on-year from 13, suggesting there is an increasing amount of new gamers. The average age of gamers now stands at 35 years old.


This statement is ridiculous! 35 qualifies as a day 1 video gamer however according to the 12 year average, everyone started gaming with the hmmmmm nintendo 64. give me a break----> In the early 80's everyone had pacman fever!!!!!

Don't make me upset or I'll bring up Dragon's Lair or Space Ace

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 06 Jun 2009 @ 20:26

157.6.2009 12:15

Yeah if the average gamer is 35 and has been gaming for 12 years, that would mean they started at 23 in 1997 on average. I don't buy that. How many people start that late into console and/or PC gaming? I'm pretty sure they count all those adults (especially women) playing Solitaire, Minesweeper, Bejeweled, etc. at work as gamers. And since ESA also claims that almost half of gamers are women, it's clear they are counting the office ladies who play those so-called "casual" computer/internet games at work.

If the ESA wants to define a gamer as someone who plays video games of some sort with some regularity, that's fine but they need to be upfront with their definition. Because for sure, there is no way the average "PC gamer" (ie. Crysis, WoW, HL2 instead of Minesweeper), Xbox 360, PS3 or even Wii player (despite the greater participation of adults than previous gens, kids make up the majority of Nintendo's consumer base) is thirty-five years old. The typical thirty-five year old console gamer probably started with the Atari 2600 or NES. Maybe they might have started with a SNES or Genesis if their parents refused to buy them games. And if they were into PC gaming instead, they probably started with an Apple II, Commodore, Amiga or MS-DOS instead of a Windows 95 or 98 PC.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 07 Jun 2009 @ 12:25

1622.6.2009 5:15

why are 68 percent of americans gamers because they are sad and have nothing better to do.Do you know why amaricans are sad because they start arguments over any thing i had an argument with one the other day on cod world at war because i shoot him.

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