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U.S. is the World’s Largest Gaming Market, Average Player Age 30

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News Posted: Mon, Dec 17 2012 9:44 AM
Video games aren't just for kids, nor have they ever targeted just a single demographic. In fact, the average gamer is 30 years old and has been playing games for 12 years. And the average age of those who purchase games most often is 35 years old. Are you at all surprised?

These statistics come courtesy of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), a trade association of the video game industry in the U.S. It's member-base includes a number of top publishers, including Atari, Capcom, Eidos Interactive, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Nintendo, Square Enix, and plenty of other heavy hitters.

South Park Games

"Today's gamers include millions of Americans of all ages and backgrounds. This vast audience fuels the growth of this multi-billion dollar industry and helps bring jobs to communities across the nation," ESA said.

More specifically, consumers spent $24.75 billion on video games, hardware, and accessories in 2011. Digital content accounted for nearly a third -- 31 percent -- of all game sales in 2011, generating $7.3 billion all by itself.

A statistic that some may find surprising is that 47 percent of all game players in the U.S. are female. Not only that, but women over the age of 18 represent a significantly greater portion of game players than boys age 17 or younger, at 30 percent versus 18 percent, respectively, ESA says.

On a related note, be sure to check out our picks for The Most Addictive PC Games Ever.
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WendellWoW replied on Mon, Dec 17 2012 10:09 AM

I'm not at all surprised by this. I just turned a shocking 47 years old, and have been gaming for many many years. I'm still going strong, but probably not as many hours logged as I used to.

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Dorkstar replied on Mon, Dec 17 2012 10:11 AM

What?  I'm curious how this data was gathered.  47% of all gamers are female?  Does that include pedophiles who pretend to be female?  I'd imagine this data was somehow gathered off of gaming websites with public profile's, in which I believe it's probably just pedophiles or trolls being female.

  I think they got the age's rather spot on.  I never met a more dedicated group of gamers until i started playing poker with an older crowd.  Most everyone there is between 30-45, and all of them game.  When someone goes out in poker, they walk into the living room and start playing whatever is the hot game that month.  By the final game, we'll have 10 guys crammed into the living room watching 2-4 people play whatever it is, usually it's Halo.

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acarzt replied on Mon, Dec 17 2012 10:46 AM

Yea.... I'm also very interested in how this data was Gathered... I somehow doubt all the kids with ages in the single digits actually participated in these surveys (assuming there was a survey) Plus kids lie about their age all the time so they can participate in things that are not available to them at their age (social networking sites)

I find it have to beleive that the AVERAGE age of gamers is actually 30. I don't know a ton of people over 30 who play video games... and there would have to be a LOT of them to average in with the millions if youngsters out there playing video games. That's one 50 y/o for every one 10 y/o.... or two 40 y/o's per 10 y/o...hmmm

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sackyhack replied on Mon, Dec 17 2012 11:30 AM

I don't know how they gathered the data, but it's not beyond the realm of possibility. I started playing videogames when I was about 8 yearls old, and have continued to do so for 20 years now. I suspect it's the same with many other gamers. We might have less time for it as we grow up, but we never outgrow the medium. Just like movies, there is a type of game for any sort of mindset, whether it's sports, narrative heavy RPG, puzzle, hell even artsy abstract things like The Path. I have yet to meet someone who played games in their youth say "yeah I don't like them anymore". I have heard a few "I don't have the time anymore", but never a growing dislike for games.

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OSunday replied on Mon, Dec 17 2012 12:23 PM

It's not surprising that Video Games are becoming more prevalent across genders and age groups. We're in an era were the generations who were first exposed to Video Games are now adults, and passing on those practices to their children, creating more gamers while they themselves also continue to game.

The perpetuating cycle of gamer reproduction

Plus now Games are evolving in meaning, entertainment value and complexity compared to the past so they have a broader appeal and are becoming to be officially seen as forms of art and mediums for storytelling and delivering a message, compared to the past when they were primarily used for entertainment. (This is not to discredit any older games in the past that told great stories or delivered great messages though, I just think they're more abundant now)

I think the gender data makes sense if you look at it outside our typical view of a "gamer" and include things like mobile and social games. Throughout high school and even know I think almost every girl I knew played some sort of social/mobile game on their smartphones if they owned one, so when you think of a female gamer it's not necessarily restricted to console and hardcore PC gamers.

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