Video games are essential part of life for many households today, but it isn’t just the kids who are playing them today. Adults are just as likely to play video games regularly as kids are. With gaming available everywhere today, from the PC to the tablet to the console, the video gamer demographics might just surprise you.
59% of all Americans report that they regularly play video games in some form.
People of all ages today play video games. There aren’t the stereotypes that existed in the past that looked at playing video games in a negative way. Literally anyone in any family could be a video gamer right now. That means your grandparents and even your boss could be taking a few minutes to play video games.
3 Fast Facts About Video Gamer Demographics
1. The average American household owns at least one dedicated machine that is used for video games exclusively and may be a console, a PC, or even a smartphone.
2. The average household in the US has at least two video gamers residing within it.
3. 51% of households own a video game console, such as an XBOX One or a PS4 and for the households that do own a console, the average number they own is actually 2.
Takeaway: Even though the costs of being a video gamer have been increasing over the years, the quality of the video games has also been increasing. With the in-app purchase revolution that has occurred with gaming, even more video gamers are crawling out of the woodwork because they have access to free games that allow them to purchase only what they need to succeed. Instead of spending $400 on a console and then $60 per game, video gamers can use their tablets and get free games that they can play when they have a few minutes. With all this access, the overall amount of video gamers is certain to increase in the coming years.
Who is the Modern Video Gamer and Where Do They Play?
1. 68% of video gamers play a majority of their games on a gaming console to get their gaming fix.
2. 53% of people play their video games on a smartphone, while another 41% use a wireless device.
3. Smartphone gaming use increased by 22% from 2012 to 2013, while wireless gaming increased by 37% in the same period.
4. The average age of a video gamer is 31.
5. 48% of today’s video gamers are women.
6. 39% of video gamers right now are above the age of 36. Only 29% of video gamers today are under the age of 18.
7. Women who are 18 or older make up the largest portion of the game playing population. Boys aged 18 or younger are the smallest portion.
8. Female video gamers aged 50 or older increased by 32% from 2012 to 2013.
Takeaway: Part of the reason why video gamer demographics are increasing across the board is because gamers are being structured to meet the needs of every gamer. From puzzles to logic to war games to virtually anything you can imagine, the increased access, lower overall costs, and ease of game play is very attractive to many age demographics, but particularly the older video gamers. Even those who struggle with hand or finger movements can play games thanks to modern vocal recognition technologies. As these games increase in popularity, it is only logical to believe that the average of the modern video gamer is only going to increase.
How Long Are Video Gamers Actually Playing Games?
1. For the average adult male video gamer, they have been playing video games regularly for 18 years, starting at the age of 13.
2. For the average adult female video gamer, they have been playing video games regularly for 13 years.
3. The average number of years that all video gamers have been playing games is 14.
4. The average age of someone who purchases video games frequently for the PC is 35.
5. For those who routinely purchase video games, is a 50/50 split in gender demographics for video gamers.
6. 44% of regular video gamers say that video games give them more value for their entertainment budget, more than music, DVDs, Blu-Rays, or even going out to see a film at the cinema.
7. Only 21% of video gamers say that the price of the video game was the most important factor in their deciding to purchase it.
Takeaway: Part of the reason why video gamer demographics are skewed toward the older populations is because today’s parents are one of the first generations to be fully immersed in video game technology. Anyone born in 1980 or before grew up playing the Atari, the original Nintendo, and other gaming systems. Even Pong was available as a console game earlier than that, although it wasn’t as immersive as some of the other interactive games. Add in the shareware that existed for PC platforms in the late 80’s and early 90’s and the adult gamer has been able to see and enjoy the evolution of gaming. The same will likely be said of today’s kids and today’s gaming technology 30 years from now.
How Are Video Games Being Played Now?
1. Social gaming on mobile devices, over social networking platforms, and other online methods has increased by 55% since 2012.
2. Social gaming makes up the largest demographic of video gamers today, beating out puzzle/card games, RPGS, and even multi-player universes.
3.44% of gamers prefer to play games on their smartphone because of its easy connectivity to their social gaming platforms. Another 33% of video gamers use a wireless device.
4. 48% of video gamers who have increased the amount of game time that they’re putting in state that they are spending less time watching TV now because of it.
5. 50% of video gamers who have a dedicated gaming console also use their console to stream movies. Another 26% use their consoles to watch TV shows.
6. Only 8% of video gamers use their gaming consoles to watch some form of live content.
7. 77% of today’s video gamers will play a game with someone either online or in their household for at least one hour per week.
8. Only 14% of video gamers will play games with their spouse or significant other.
Takeaway: For video gamers, the universe of the game seems to be an escape from the world that is stressing them out. Less than a third of gamers will even play social gaming with extended family members, although more than 40% of gamers will pay games with their friends. With social gaming increasing so much, the modern video gamer can literally be anyone and they can be anywhere, even playing a game while waiting in line at the grocery store to checkout. Because of this, gaming time is bound to increase in the future and that will only promote better, more comprehensive games being developed over time.
What About Kids Who Are Video Gamers?
1. 88% of parents who have kids that are video gamers believe the rating system, which was developed by the ESRB, is helpful in some way to choose appropriate games for their children.
2. In the same survey, however, only 85% of parents stated that they were actually aware of the rating system.
3. 87% of parents believe that the modern parental controls in today’s gaming systems and in-app gaming controls are useful.
4. Kids have limits on the amount of time they can play video games more often than any other entertainment option, including basic internet use.
5. 46% of games in 2013 that were rated by the ESRB were rated E for Everyone. Only 12% received a mature rating.
6. 82% of kids need their parent’s permission in order to purchase a new video game, even if it is with their own money.
7. 91% of parents are present when a new video game is either purchased or rented, while 95% of parents state that they closely monitor the content of the video games being played.
Takeaway: Although the overall influence of video games on a child’s development is up for debate, there is no question that games can be beneficial. They work to create better hand/eye coordination, logical thinking patterns, reasoning skills, and can even teach the scientific method. If it can be this influential in a positive way, to the modern parent it is logical that they could also be influential in a negative way. For that reason, a vast majority of parents are taking it upon themselves to closely monitor what games their kids are playing. It is also likely why the majority of games are rated for everyone to play.
Why Do Video Gamer Parents Play Games with Their Kids?
1. 88% of parents say that they play video games with their kids because it is good, wholesome fun for the entire family.
2. 84% of parents also say that they play games with their gamer kids because the kids ask them to do so.
3. Three quarters of parents decide to play video games with their kids because it is a good opportunity to have social interactions together.
4. 6 out of 10 parents say that they use gaming time with their kids to monitor the content in the video games that are being played.
5. Less than half of the parents surveyed, however, had as much fun playing the games as their video gamer kids do.
Takeaway: One of the neatest aspects of observing a child playing a video game with their parent is that it brings out leadership qualities in the child. Video gamer kids will often take the lead in a game so they can show parents what needs to be done to win. They let their gaming experience speak for itself and this developmental activity helps to bring about a lot of great benefits that can be used later on in life. On that note, however, if a parent exhibits very little fun being had, even if that attitude is directed toward the game, the child will take it personally and that could ruin the relationship. Video gamer families should work together to find mutually fun games, therefore, that everyone can enjoy.
What’s The Bottom Line?
1. Video gamer demographics spent a combined $21.5 billion on games in 2013, with $4.26 billion of that amount being spent on gaming hardware.
2. Strategy computer games make up the largest super genre in terms of sales, with casual gaming coming in as a close second. Entertainment games for children, on the other hand, make up just 0.1% of the market.
3. The best selling video game of 2103 was Grand Theft Auto V, followed by Call of Duty: Ghosts – both of which were rated by the ESRB for mature audiences.
4. The only games in the Top 20 that were rated E for Everyone and were not a sports related game were from the Pokemon series.
5. For computer gaming, The Sims franchise dominated the 2013 sales charts, taking 7 out of the Top 20 slots. Sim City 2013 was also the #2 selling computer game of the year.
6. Even with the higher sales numbers, content sales in video games were still lower in 2013 than they were in 2010 and 2011.
7. Fewer video game units have been sold every year since 2008, even though revenues are more than $5 billion that 2008 in some instances.
Takeaway: Video games might cost more and they might be more comprehensive, which could account for the sales figure variations, but the bottom line is that games will never go away. All of the video gamer demographics are craving new, exciting content that they’ll be able to conquer, play with their friends, and enjoy on a late Friday night. As delivery formats become even easier to access and micro-gaming continues to grow in popularity, like in Candy Crush Saga, every demographic will see rises in their video gamers and that can only mean good things for the games and the gamers alike.