Two in three American adults now play video games

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

Roughly 65 percent of American adults – or more than 164 million people – play video games according to the latest research from the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the trade association for the video game industry in the US.

In its 2019 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry survey, the ESA found that three in four Americans have at least one gamer in their household. The most common device used for gaming, unsurprisingly, is the smartphone as 60 percent of adult gamers play on mobile devices. Nearly half of adult gamers – 52 percent – play on personal computers with dedicated consoles played by 49 percent of American adult gamers.

In terms of households, 21 percent of gamers are under the age of 18. Reassuringly, the survey revealed that 90 percent of parents pay attention to the games their child plays, 87 percent are aware of the ESRB and 77 percent regularly use ESRB ratings when buying games for their kids.

ESA acting President and CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis said we are in the midst of the golden age of video games. “They are the leading form of entertainment in American culture. They enhance our interconnected experiences and relationships with one another and redefine the intersection between humans and technology,” he added.

Lead image courtesy Olena Yakobchuk via Shutterstock. Second image courtesy Ivanko80 via Shutterstock.

Permalink to story.

 

Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
Golden era for gaming according to companies, for humanity, is a sad era, beginning of the end, kids that never grow up
Oh, I doubt that very much. Adults play many, many games and this is just another one BUT we are in an age where adults are becoming more and more lethargic, lacking exercise which increases formerly rare diseases like diabetes, gout, and many more. I would like to see a comparison of gross product output compared to use of these games. Since they are reported addictive we should see a decline out output, otherwise it is just another mental diversion not unlike playing bridge, stamp collecting, listening to music and so many other forms of entertainment ......
 
Playing video games >> watching TV
Playing video games >> going to a bar
Playing video games >> going to a movie
Playing video games >> going to a major/money league sporting event

Sure, there are lots of things better than playing video games but they still beat a lot of other things that a LOT of "adults" do.
 

Nobina

TS Evangelist
There are many many worse things than gaming. If you don't give up on everything to play games you won't get harmed. It is addictive but so are many things we do in our everyday lives, just practice some self control and you'll be fine. If games didn't exist we would have to invent them.
 

treetops

TS Evangelist
Like others said it's just entertainment. It's not like watching tv, youtube or spending all your time on social media is somehow better. Most people capable of playing some kind of video game do. Using physical cards does not make you more "grown up" then using pixels.

About 1/3 of the adult population is over 60.
https://www.statista.com/statistics/241488/population-of-the-us-by-sex-and-age/

Only 77% of adults own a smart phone.
https://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/mobile/

10% of the population is completely offline in the USA
https://www.statista.com/topics/2237/internet-usage-in-the-united-states/
 
What surprises me is that the gaming industry doesn't seem to make much effort to court that potentially big cash part of the gaming market. I mean a little effort to make more of an adult only product. More gore, more action, better adult story lines. Just a little finesse all around on what they at times make anyway and I think it could be a whole bigger business of itself.

There are so many people out racking their brains trying to figure out how to tap into a small chunk of the marketplace and make big cash. Yet I guess the gaming industry makes so much money they can't be bothered with another source of untold millions. I don't know, I'm no expert but dang.
 

GamerNerves

TS Rookie
Many people watch too much TV, browse too much social media and play too much games. These are all for entertainment and can be social experiences too, but like with anything, even physical exercise, too much is unhealthy and will result in problems. Everybody should visit outside everyday and be in decent physical shape. You don't have to be some muscle man, but everybody needs at least to walk some miles, bicycle, swim or similiar, every week. Stretching is essential too, no matter how you exercise.
 

jonny888

TS Booster
Does this take into account the fact that many of the people who are now adults were the children who first had access to play video games to begin with? If you do then it seems pretty expected/normal that this would be the case. At which point we can boil it down to: "People who do things as children are more likely to keep doing those things as adults".
 

ghostf1re

TS Guru
Golden era for gaming according to companies, for humanity, is a sad era, beginning of the end, kids that never grow up
Just because people play video games? Give me a break. Kids not growing up is 100% their parents fault, not video games.
 

Twizted

TS Rookie
Playing video games >> watching TV
Playing video games >> going to a bar
Playing video games >> going to a movie
Playing video games >> going to a major/money league sporting event

Sure, there are lots of things better than playing video games but they still beat a lot of other things that a LOT of "adults" do.
I've had this view since the 90's. Video games are more fun than most other things people do for entertainment. Why watch a movie when you can control and be in a movie.
 

elementalSG

TS Addict
Golden era for gaming according to companies, for humanity, is a sad era, beginning of the end, kids that never grow up
Today games take the best of every media form and immerse you in it. Books provide escapism into another world using your imagination. Movies let you see how someone else imagined the world. Music allows you to feel the emotions experienced by the artist.

Video games today combine all of these other media and let you BE the character, live the world, feel the emotions of the characters you embody. The experience is incredible these days; only as a full-grown adult could you understand the complete experience video games now provide.
 

jobeard

TS Ambassador
I'm doubtful on a statistical bases. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has a vested interest in the data and the results. As stated, they report 65% of {implied all } American adults are gamers. The sample size was not 100% so the base data does not support that conclusion.

Statistics don't lie but liars can figure
 

Capaill

TS Evangelist
I'm doubtful on a statistical bases. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has a vested interest in the data and the results. As stated, they report 65% of {implied all } American adults are gamers. The sample size was not 100% so the base data does not support that conclusion.

Statistics don't lie but liars can figure
"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." Unknown or Mark Twain .

It's true, without knowing how the statistics were calculated, we cannot know if a gamer is someone who plays games every day, a few hours a day, 2 minutes a day, or once opened Minecraft when they were 5.
 

Teko03

TS Evangelist
Considering a product that was mostly popularized throughout the 90's...should it be alarming that those same kids who are now in their 30's are still playing video games? The majority children before then either were "too old" to get into the beginning of modern video gaming. So of course more adults would be playing them, the 40+ age group never played them to begin with.
 

amstech

IT Overlord
People are breaking this down in various ways and initiating discussion without being on the same page. Out of the first 20 adults I can think of, 1-2 play video games regularly, if that. However, many of those folks DO play app games on their phone or something like Nintendo once in awhile with their grand children.
This article, nor its writer, specify the manner in which the source material implies.
If this article stated "2/3 adults regularly play console games", then I would strongly disagree with that.
 

Larsenex

TS Enthusiast
This is great news. I laugh at the comments about being lazy or doom n gloom or 'addiction'.

I am 52 in great shape, ride a road bike to work (20 Miles round trip) and work out at gym at 4am. I also game on the PC 2 hours a night and sometimes 10 hours on weekends. Daughter is 19 and is also very active and also games on dads PC > sims, wow, eso.

My girlfriend who is 48 also games.

In a nutshell, This seems like a safer bet then some other recreational choices.
 
  • Like
Reactions: elementalSG

Latest posts