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Take a look at the average American gamer in new survey findings

1.7 gamers in every house and two hands on every controller

The Entertainment Software Association has published its annual report on the essential facts about gaming habits in America. Surveying over 4,000 households nationwide, the group collected its findings on how many Americans are playing games — along with what kinds, how often, and just who those gamers are.

Below, you'll find several of the most notable statistics found in 2016's Essential Facts about the Computer and Video Game Industry report. Check out last year's findings for a proper comparison of how the average video game fan has changed or stayed the same over the last 12 months.


  • 63 percent of U.S. households surveyed include at least one frequent gamer.
  • 65 percent of homes own a video game-playing device, while 48 percent own "a dedicated game console."
  • 47 percent of gamers are between 18 and 49 years old.
  • The average guy who plays games is 35; the average woman is 44.
  • 59 percent of those who play games on a regular basis are men; 41 percent are women.
  • The average gamer has been playing video games for 13 years.

Buying habits

  • The average "frequent game purchaser" is 38 years old.
  • 60 percent of those who buy games most often are men, while the remaining 40 percent are women.
  • 41 percent of regular buyers pick up new games without trying them beforehand.

How we spend our game time

  • The most frequently played gaming device is the PC (56 percent of respondents), followed by dedicated consoles (53 percent) and smartphones (36).
  • Handhelds are played least often; just 17 percent of frequent players claimed to use those devices.
  • 50 percent of those with gaming consoles also use them to watch movies.
  • 54 percent of respondents play games with other people, including friends (40 percent) and family members (21 percent).
  • Online gamers spend 6.5 hours a week on average playing with others.

VR and esports

  • Half of the respondents are familiar with esports. 45 percent of those who follow esports do so through social media.
  • 55 percent of frequent gamers are aware of virtual reality headsets, and 40 percent claimed they were likely to purchase a VR system within the next 12 months.

Just how much money do we spend on games?

  • In short: A whole lot. Consumers spent $23.5 billion on the gaming industry in 2015. $16.5 billion was spent on gaming content alone.
  • Since 2010, more and more buyers are spending their money on digital releases. Last year, 56 percent of sales were made digitally. That's a four percent increase over last year.
Read the full report for the rest of the stats and for more information on the survey.

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