ESA Statistics Shed Light On Gaming Habits of Americans

Published: May 10, 2019 9:49 AM /


ESA Statistics Shed Light On Gaming Habits of Americans

Today the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) released the results of their new survey, "2019 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry," which you can view or download here. The survey is based on research conducted for the ESA by Ipsos, a French global market research firm. It is based on the gaming habits of more than 4,000 Americans, and it's estimated that more than 164 million adults in the United States play video games, as per the survey. Some of the figures are very similar to last year's Essential Facts, as you can see here. We selected a few statistics that stand out.

We should keep in mind that the definition of a gamer here is very broad, so broad that it includes "66% of male Boomer gamers most often play games on their PC," whose favorite games are Solitaire and Scrabble. Then there's "58% of female Boomer gamers most often play games on their Smartphone," whose favorite games are Mahjong and Monopoly. These are unlikely to be self-identifying as gamers, and more likely to admit to playing games on the PC and the smartphone in their spare time. It makes sense then that the most popular game genre, according to the survey, is Casual, with 71%, which doesn't really hold up to if you look at those who identify as gamers.

A lot of the statistics seem to match this broad definition of a gamer with the fact that the vast majority of gamers are adults, hence "65% of American adults play video games." A focus on parenting also shows an angle to lead the discussion into a broader view of gaming, with "57% of parents play games with their child at least weekly," "74% of parents believe video games are educational," and "90% of parents pay attention to the games their child plays", with the last actually being down from 2018's 94%.

Overall, the survey paints a very positive picture of the average gamer as a politically conscientious ("59% of gamers are certain they will vote in the next presidential election"), educated ("52% of gamers are college educated"), and mentally active ("79% of gamers say games provide mental stimulation"). This is supported by the optimistic statement from ESA President and CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis:

This is 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. Americans play video games to have fun, relieve stress, learn, and spend time with family. This innovative form of entertainment touches on every part of society and improves how we play, work, and live.
You can find more information at the ESA official website or follow ESA on Twitter. In slightly related news, you might also be interested to read our report on the loot box ban bill to be introduced by the United States Senator Josh Hawley. The release date of this year's survey seems highly fortuitous or planned with the harsh lens on the industry right now.

What do you think of the ESA 2019 Essential Facts survey? Is it an accurate picture of the average gamer, or is the definition perhaps too broad to hold water? Let us know in the comments below!


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