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Wednesday, 12 June 2013 09:13

The typical 'gamer' is not who you think

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File photo of a self-proclaimed 'geeky gamer' File photo of a self-proclaimed 'geeky gamer'

Adult women represent a significantly greater portion of the video game-playing population than boys age 17 or younger, and nearly half of all video game players are women, according to new research released today.

The report, by US group the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), is titled 2013 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry andfound that women comprise almost half of the video game-playing population, while boys 17 and under, the typical 'gamer' stereotype, represent only 19% of game players.

Women are 45% of the entire game playing population and 46% of the time are the most frequent game purchasers.

"This new data underscores the remarkable upward trajectory for video games. It is an entertainment form enjoyed by hundreds of millions of consumers worldwide," said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of ESA.

"A diverse and energized consumer base, remarkable new hardware, and outstanding software all combine to foster growth for our industry."

In addition to changing demographics, the report shows that parents are closely monitoring what their children are playing. According to Essential Facts, parents are present when games are purchased or rented 89% of the time, and children receive their parents' permission before purchasing or renting a game 80% of the time.

More than a third of parents report playing video games with their children at least once a week.

The 2013 Essential Facts, while US-skewed, provides statistics on industry demographics; the types of games played and game platforms used; how parents monitor and engage with their children around game play; the top-selling computer and video games; and overall sales information for the industry.

Notable findings include:

  • 58% of Americans play video games;
  • 51% of U.S. households own a dedicated game console, and those that do own an average of two;
  • The average game player is 30 years old, and 36% of game players – the largest age segment – are 36 or older;
  • 43% of game players believe that computer and video games give them the most value for their money, compared to DVDs, music or going out to the movies;
  • 62% of gamers play games with others, either in-person or online; and,
  • Consumers spent nearly $21 billion on game content, hardware, and accessories in 2012.

For more game-related coverage you can find reports on the current E3 gaming conference from Microsoft, Ubisoft, Sony, EA and Nintendo.

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