Study: Average Game Player is 37 Years Old

Paul Lilly

With the E3 Expo in full swing, could there be a better time to smash gamer stereotypes? We think not, and neither does the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), which used the convention to draw attention to new research about game players. Contrary to popular perception, the average gamer is 37 years old, and the average game purchaser is 41 years old, not some teenage kid yelling through Xbox Live with a controller in one hand and an energy drink in the other.

Not all gamers are guys, either. According to ESA, 42 percent of gamers are women, and more than a third of the game playing population is comprised of female games 18 years or older.

"Our industry’s innovative titles are reaching new consumers in broader, deeper and more-engaging ways," said Michael D. Gallagher , president and CEO of the ESA. "Technological advancements and terrific entertainment experiences in our industry make it possible for people of all ages to enjoy games at home or on the go, and the creativity of our developers and publishers leads to an ever-expanding variety of video games to choose from in both digital and physical formats."

Let's smash some more stereostypes and myths:

  • 45 percent of parents report playing computer and videogames with their children at least weekly
  • Nine out of 10 parents pay attention to the content of games their children play
  • 86 percent of parents are aware of the ESRB rating system and 98 percent consider the ratings accurate
  • Parents are present when games are purchased or rented 91 percent of the time

The new research goes against several commonly held perceptions about videogames. Probably the most surprising aspect (to some) is how involved parents are with game playing. According to the ESA, more than two-thirds of parents believe that game play provides mental stimulation or education, 57 percent believe games encourage their family to spend time together, and 54 percent believe that game play helps children connect with friends.

You can read the full report here (PDF) .

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