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

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.