ESA: 212 Million Americans Play Video Games Weekly

The number of Americans playing video games remains strong and encompasses players across all demographics, including gender, race, ethnicity and age, according to new data from the Entertainment Software Association.

The trade group found that 65% of survey respondents play video games, which equates to about 212.6 million weekly players. About 96% of all respondents saying they view video games as beneficial to their home entertainment needs.

“Playing video games has become the norm, as those who first learned to play on early consoles now share their joy of play with their own children and grandchildren, resulting in an expansive and diverse player community,” Stanley Pierre-Louis, CEO of the ESA, said in a statement.

The report found that reaffirms that 46% of video game players are female and 53% male, with about 1% identifying another way or choosing not to identify for the survey.

The average video game player is 32 years old and has been playing video games for 21 years. A quarter of American players are under 18 (26%), 35% are 18-34, 14% are 35-44, 11% are 45-54 and 14% are 55 or older.

Of adults who play video games, 72% are white, 10% are Hispanic, 8% are black, 6% are Asian/Pacific Islander and 4% identified as ‘other.’

Video games bring Americans together and create communities where they otherwise might not be traditionally possible.

The ESA found that 80% of video game players play games with others, with 71% of players attributing game play with creating welcoming and inclusive environments. The majority of respondents (88%) claim that games help expand their social circles, and 82% say video games can introduce people to new friends and new relationships.

Another 76% of U.S. parents play video games with their children. Half (50%) of players have met a good friend, spouse or significant other through games. And 87% of players say video games create accessible experiences for people with different physical abilities.

Ninety percent of respondents said video games provide mental stimulation (90%) and stress relief (90%), and help improve cognitive skills (88%). All respondents agree that video games can help build problem-solving (81%) and teamwork and collaboration skills (75%).

Younger (18 to 24) and older adults (65+) are especially likely to value video games for having fun and passing time, but older adults also say games stimulate thinking and help them relax.

According to the survey, video games also inspire people (80%), help teach kids how to win and lose in a healthy manner (74%), can be used to facilitate or supplement education in the classroom (72%) and help improve creative skills (85%).

Almost 60% of adult video game players use multiple platforms to play — they use a combination of mobile, consoles and/or PCs.

Smartphones remain the most used device for gaming — 64% of active players use a smartphone to play games and 12% of players exclusively use a smartphone to play games. Among U.S. adults, casual genres, including puzzle and arcade games, continue to be the most played.

Of players’ total time spent on entertainment (TV, video games, music, etc.), video games account for a quarter of their time and are highly valued. Nearly half of players report that video games provide the most entertainment value for money spent.

ESA Report: More Than 200 Million Americans Play Video Games

Three-quarters of Americans have at least one gamer in their household and 214 million Americans play video games, according to the Entertainment Software Association’s (ESA) “2020 Essential Facts About the Video Game Industry” report.

Almost two-thirds of U.S. adults (64%) and 70% of those under 18 regularly play video games.

Almost three-quarters (73%) in the survey own a game console, 43% own a hand-held system, 29% own a virtual reality device and 25% own a mobile VR device.

About two-thirds (65%) of video gamers play with others, according to the report, and the average age of a gamer is 35 to 44 years old. Still, many players over 65 years old (46% of men and 63% of women over 65) have been playing video games for 10 years or less.

More than half of parents (55%) say they play games with their children at least once a week, and 92% pay attention to the games their child plays.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Game playing is good for health, according to the report, with 79% of gamers saying games provide relaxation and stress relief, and 87% of male gamers ages 55 to 64 and 82% of women gamers ages 55 to 64 believing games provide mental stimulation.

Trade Group Pushes Back Against Trump’s Claim Video Games Incite Violence in Society

In the aftermath of separate mass shootings over the weekend that left 31 people dead and scores wounded, the Entertainment Software Association is pushing back against claims by President Trump and some lawmakers that violence in video games fuels violence in society.

Trump Aug. 5 condemned the attacks carried out by two shooters in their early 20s armed assault weapons.

“Our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy,” the president said, without calling for tougher gun controls and/or outlawing assault-style weapons — the latter done in New Zealand following the slaughter of Muslim churchgoers by a white nationalist earlier this year.

Trump also called for greater focus on mental health and the end of glorifying violence in society, including “the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace.”

Indeed, many games enable first-person shooter scenarios that mimic shooting an assault-weapon at people.

For ESA, whose publishing members include Electronic Arts, Nintendo and Activision Blizzard, the comments hit too close.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“Numerous scientific studies have established that there is no causal connection between video games and violence,” the ESA said in a statement. “More than 165 million Americans enjoy video games, and billions of people play video games worldwide. Yet other societies, where video games are played as avidly, do not contend with the tragic levels of violence that occur in the U.S.”

Regardless, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), minority leader in the House, told Fox News that many video games dehumanize human life.

Complaints about violence in games isn’t a partisan issue. Hillary Clinton in 2005 co-sponsored a bill that would have made it illegal for minors to purchase video games.

“We’ve watched from studies shown before of what it does to individuals,” McCarthy told Fox News. “When you look at these [shooting] photos of how it took place, you can see the actions within video games and others.”

Video Game Show E3 Opens June 11 With New AR Experience

E3 2019, the biggest annual video game trade show, opens June 11 for a three-day run at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

New this year is “The Unreal Garden @ E3,” an evolved version of the San Francisco-based augmented reality experience with new scenes and content.

E3 delivers new immersive experiences to E3 attendees each year. “The Unreal Garden @ E3,” a pop-up, blends the use of art, entertainment, augmented reality, projections, soundscapes, and technology.

“E3 provides unparalleled interactive experiences to our attendees,” said Dan Hewitt, VP of communications for the Entertainment Software Association, the U.S. video game trade association that owns and manages E3. “The Unreal Garden @ E3 provides a world-class opportunity for E3 attendees to explore the intersection of technology and human experience.”

Produced by Onedome and built on the Enklu platform, The Unreal Garden launched in San Francisco in October 2018, and is the first large-scale multiplayer AR experience using multiple technologies to deliver a fully immersive, interactive social experience with collaboration and connection at the core. Both Onedome and Enklu’s vision is to use interactive technologies to bring people together to inspire collaboration, connection, community, and empower the creative within.

Last year’s E3 attracted more than 69,200 visitors and featured more than 200 exhibitors, including 85 companies that were exhibiting at the event for the first time, showing 3,250 products.