E3 News: ESA Says Women Gamers Increasing

Forty percent of gamers are women according to a new survey released today by the video game industry's trade group, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). Additional findings in the ESA's annual survey of consumer demographics and usage behaviors indicate that the average age of game players has risen to 35.

"This new data underscores the fundamental principle that computer and video games are a mainstream entertainment form, which captures the imagination of every segment of our society," said Michael D. Gallagher, CEO of the ESA, the U.S. association representing computer and video game publishers. "No longer is there a stereotypical gamer. With deeper market penetration and the broadening of our audience base, video games have incorporated themselves into America's cultural and social fabric."

Among the survey's main findings:

65 percent of American households play computer and video games;

38 percent of American homes have a video game console;

The average game player is 35 years old;

One out of four gamers are over age 50;

Women age 18 or older represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (33 percent) than boys age 17 or younger (18 percent); and,

41 percent of Americans expect to purchase one or more games this year.

The new research also shows how involved parents are in the way their children buy, rent and play games:

94 percent of parents are present when games are purchased or rented;

88 percent of parents report always or sometimes monitoring the games their children play; and,

63 percent of parents believe games are a positive part of their children's lives.

The 2008 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry also includes statistics on the top selling titles and genres of 2007, provided by The NPD Group. Based on unit sales, 85 percent of the games sold last year were rated "Everyone (E)," "Everyone 10+ (E10+)" or "Teen (T)." While only 15 percent of the games sold in 2007 were rated "Mature (M)."

The data included in the 2008 Essential Facts was gathered in an annual study conducted by Ipsos MediaCT for the ESA. The study is the most in-depth and targeted of its kind, gathering data from over 1,200 nationally representative households that have been identified as owning either or both a video game console or personal computer used to run entertainment software. The complete 2008 Essential Facts booklet is available online at http://www.theESA.com/

The Entertainment Software Association is the U.S. association dedicated to serving the business and public affairs needs of companies publishing interactive games for video game consoles, handheld devices, personal computers, and the Internet. The ESA offers services to interactive entertainment software publishers including a global anti-piracy program, owning the E3 Media & Business Summit, business and consumer research, federal and state government relations, First Amendment and intellectual property protection efforts.

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