The Entertainment Software Association released its annual report on the state of video game play in North America today at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. According to the ESA research, 72 percent of American households play video games with 82 percent of those who play being adults. The "2011 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry" report also found that 42 percent of gamers are women and that women age 18 or older represent more than one-third of the game-playing population.
In addition, purchases of digital full games, digital add-on content, mobile apps, subscriptions and social network gaming accounted for 24 percent of game sales in 2010, generating right around $5.9 billion in revenue.
The survey also found that parents are "highly involved" in their children's game play and see several benefits of entertainment software. Forty-five percent of parents reported playing video games with their children on a weekly basis, with nine out of ten parents saying they pay attention to the content of the games their children play. In addition, 68 percent of parents believe that games provide mental stimulation or education value, and 57 percent believe games encourage their family to spend time together. Finally, 54 percent believe that games helps their children connect with friends.
Other data from the study:
- The average gamer is 37 years old, while the average game buyer is 41 years old.
- 65 percent of gamers play games with other gamers in person.
- 55 percent of gamers play games on their phones or handheld devices
- 86 percent know of the ESRB and 98 percent are confident in its accuracy and recommendations.
- The majority of parents are present when their children purchase games.
- Consumers spent $25.1 billion on game content, hardware and accessories in 2010.
The 2011 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry research was conducted by Ipsos MediaCT who gathered data from almost 1,200 nationally representative households that have been identified as owning either or both a video game console or a personal computer used to run entertainment software.