Average age of US gamers now 30

E3 2012: ESA research shows more Americans are playing games on smartphones, tablets, and handhelds; consumers spent nearly $25 billion on game content, hardware, and accessories in 2011.

by

The Entertainment Software Association released the 2012 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry report today, detailing a few facts about the video game habits of American gamers.

According to the report--conducted by Ipsos MediaCT for Essential Facts from more than 2,000 nationally representative households during the spring of 2012--the average game player in America is 30 years old, and 37 percent of game players are older than 36. On the home console front, 49 percent of all American homes now have a video game console, and more than 30 percent of respondents said they play games on a smartphone, compared to 20 percent last year.

"Games have evolved from a thing you buy to an experience enjoyed by a wide and diverse population everywhere, anytime, on any screen," president and CEO of ESA Michael D. Gallagher said in a statement. "The creativity of our developers and publishers produces an ever-expanding variety of games in different formats and across all platforms."

The report also found 33 percent of American gamers now play social games, and 15 percent play online games. Of the parents surveyed, 98 percent found the current ESRB system helpful, and 73 percent said they believe parental controls in video game consoles are useful. Video games also proved popular with families: 40 percent of parents said they play games with their children at least once a week, and 66 percent said such games provide mental stimulation.

According to the report, consumers in America spent nearly $25 billion on game content, hardware, and accessories in 2011.

Discussion

72 comments
archelius
archelius

gaming is the highest form of entertainment anyone can experience...but some oldtymers still believe that gaming is only for kids....

 

Jebril
Jebril

I feel a lot younger now a days, I'm 22 and I've felt old as heck ever since I turned 20. :|

the_real_luigi
the_real_luigi

That's because WE grew up with video games from day ONE! We are the roots of the gaming industry and enjoyed EVERY minute of it! ...and of course we still do... :P

Blaiyan
Blaiyan

I just turned 30 this year and I feel so old. I don't know how long I'll be gaming for various reasons but as of now I still am.

Quandry
Quandry

Tron on the Atari. Hours of game play. Zelda on the Nintendo I spent my whole freshman year conquering it. But my greatest memory was beating Tyson on Tyson's punchout.

Upat3am
Upat3am

Montezuma's revenge on the commodore 64.

sirkibble2
sirkibble2

I wonder how many of those actually pay attention to the game industry. 

SCImonTemplar
SCImonTemplar

All these young kids will never know the joy that was the E.T. game for Atari

Upat3am
Upat3am

I would like to see the study on this. Does it include gamers on Facebook who make up a large percentage of non console gamers. Many people in there 40' and 50's are playing games on social networking sites. Maybe they should redefine the idea of what a gamer is now.

VirtualTofu
VirtualTofu

One more month and I'll be that average age.

egger7577
egger7577

I also really have to assume that this has a lot to do with the Wii and smartphones and casual gaming. A lot more households have accepted the alternate form of gaming known as casual. I think most hardcore gamers are probably above that avarage age range.

egger7577
egger7577

Great, thanks for making me feel old. Well as a PC gamer I'm at least below the average age of that medium.

theKSMM
theKSMM

Average age of 30?  I'm surrounded by children...

 

In reality, this isn't surprising.  Most of the guys working in and walking through comic book stores have gray hair.  Why?  Because comics are a medium that they grew up with (and which has kinda fallen out of favor with today's kids).  They've stuck with it through the years and continue to read them.  I suspect most older gamers are folks that also stuck with it.

 

Of course, there are also people who just discovered gaming on their smartphones, but I choose not to consider them too much.

staranise
staranise

Men or Women? ^___^ there has to be specifics

DeViLzzz
DeViLzzz

Nintendo is clueless and thinks that only kids play games.

Takeno456
Takeno456

Here is at least some proof that gaming is not the evil that many politicians and "intellectuals" think that they are.

tightwad34
tightwad34

All right. Now how about finding out the average age of the hardcore gamer? No Wii Sports or Angry Birds. Oh, yeah and most of all, no Dance Central  or whatever that crap is.

DrKill09
DrKill09

So can we FINALLY buy AO and unrated games now?

Zloth2
Zloth2

"40 percent of parents said they play games with their children at least once a week, and 66 percent said such games provide mental stimulation."

 

Please mail this to all politicians.  Maybe then they will finally stop using our hobby as a punching bag to try and show how they "protect children."

MJ12-Conspiracy
MJ12-Conspiracy

lol how old do you think the gamers are who remember Atari or the launch of NES??

We are 36 or older......

 

emperiox
emperiox

This just in...BREAKING NEWS: All 30 year old gamers are losers and live in their mother's basement.

RockySquirrel
RockySquirrel

Happy old farts playing quality single-player games are our future...

 

There are plenty of fun game choices that don't require shooting other nerds with guns, or running dungeons over and over again to get new clothes for your digital barbie-doll.

 

AND STAY OFF MY LAWN!

SLjimbolian
SLjimbolian

WOW, now that's a shocker.  I thought the majority of gamers currently are college-aged (18-22), but 30 is pretty surprising to me.  I'm 27, so I thought I was a rarity in my age range.  Then again, nowadays I find myself playing more Wii than 360 or PS3 because people around my age (25-28) just want to party and play casual games.

G1Ga-B1T3
G1Ga-B1T3

That's right! We gots the oldest kids in the WORLD!!!!!!!

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

I never play games online.  Not because I don't like it.  I don't have the net at my place right now so that makes it harder, BUT I don't play them online simply because I have so many games to play through as it is that playing multiplayer seems like a waste of time unless it effects the single player directly or if it has story value.

 

Other than that I'm always just trying to get through the games I already have.

X-RS
X-RS

I spose that's a start to catching up with Japan =\

nurnberg
nurnberg

Only 15% of gamers play online games?  I thought the number would be greater than this.  As an online gamer myself, I always thought that this hobby was more widespread, judging from sales of games like Call of Duty.

kuda001
kuda001

Really 30yrs, all the multi-player games I play, 95% are kids. The attention-deficit, hyperactive, Ritalin taking American/British/Irish kind. 

 

I'm 26 btw.

BigDawgSteve420
BigDawgSteve420

The average age isn't surprising.  I was just a kid when the NES came out and got home gaming big, so basically i was raised video gaming.  Early 30s now and many of my friends I've grown up with still game.  I can say for myself that I'll be gaming until the day I die.

Landsharkk
Landsharkk

15% play online games.  I believe this statistic needs to be further explained.  

 

What is considered an 'online game' to make up this statistic?  

 

If 33% of American's now play social games, aren't all social games online games?  That would lead to much higher number than 15% for people who play online games.

LusterSoldierGS
LusterSoldierGS

I attempted to do a weighted average on that poll and came up with an average age of 23.11 based on those results.  GameFAQs seems like a site that has more hardcore gamers than GameSpot, so I think the average age of GameSpot's visitors would be slightly higher, around 24-25.

joujou264
joujou264

 @DeViLzzz They may not be children from a biological standpoint, but there are a lot of immature, bitchy adults, that act like children.

sirkibble2
sirkibble2

 @DeViLzzz  I think Nintendo is trying to give kids something to play otherwise, there won't be much.

Foppe
Foppe

 @tightwad34 Back in my days, you were hardcore if you could beat Contra or Battletoads.

Todays "hardcore gamers" can't do that, all they care about is getting the next killstream in the latest CoD.

StrmCentry
StrmCentry

 @MJ12-Conspiracy I remember Atari and I'm in my late 20's, Atari was the first console I played. My older brother remembers the launch of the NES and he still has a few years before he reaches the age of 36.

Zloth2
Zloth2

 @MJ12-Conspiracy

 Atari?  Bah.  Apple ][+ for the win.  I remember thinking how huge 48k of memory was.  Why, you could fit a whole world in there!  Then Ultima 2 went and did just that.  And tossed some other planets in, too!

tightwad34
tightwad34

 @emperiox

 So do you plan on playing video games when you hit 30? Or are you trying to tell us somethin here?

joujou264
joujou264

 @nurnberg Online games are referred to as the sort of game Happy Wheeks is. Have you never been on Miniclip, or ArmorGames?

mydogpooped
mydogpooped

@BigDawgSteve420 Posting in an ancient thread... Home gaming was big well before the NES.  Nintendo's sales didn't surpass Atari's until 1990 (I believe), and that's with two generations of kids buying video games.  The early 8-bit consoles weren't great, but they were a decent stand-in for coin-op games that were ubiquitous in the U.S. by 1981, and were loved by the kids that played them.  We knew our home gaming technology wasn't perfect, but we accepted it, and when new consoles came along we got excited and we bought them (which is the culture that younger gamers inherited from us).


I remember in the late nineties when the mainstream media first noticed that 30-somethings who grew up with video games were still playing them; there were tons of articles online and in the media questioning whether adults should still be gaming... It blows my mind that 15+ years later people are still asking the same question.

joujou264
joujou264

 @Landsharkk I bet online gamed was meant as, flash games, like Miniclip, or ArmorGames.

Tizn0w
Tizn0w

 @Landsharkk Yeah, that stat didn't seem right to me either. Even if it was limited to MMORPGs and dedicated online shooters, it'd still seem like it should be higher.

 

That stat certainly must not refer to "any" game that utilizes online connectivity, or else it's waaaaaay off.

sirkibble2
sirkibble2

 @Foppe Back in the day, you were hardcore if you simply played games. That's not the case anymore. Now it's the type of games you play.

joujou264
joujou264

 @Tizn0w Online games may have been meant as flash games, you know, Minclip or ArmorGames.

egger7577
egger7577

If you're going to post garbage then you better be able to back it up, nice comeback ****stick.