ESA Releases Gamer Facts At E3

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ESA Releases Gamer Facts At E3

As in previous years, the ESA has released facts about gamers and gamer trends at the morning "State of the Industry" breakfast on the first official say of the show. Some of these were quite surprising.

In the area of demographics, here are the bullet points:

• 68 percent of American households play computer or video games.

• The average age of game players is 35 years old.

• 25 percent of game players are under 18 years of age, 49 percent are 18 to 49 and 26 percent are 50+ years old.

• 60 percent of game players are male. However, women age 18 or older represent 34 percent of the game-playing population — much more than boys 17 or younger, who constitute 18 percent.

• The average age of the most frequent game buyer is 39 years old.

• 48 percent of game purchasers are female.

• 12 is the average number of years adult gamers have been playing video games.

• 62 percent of gamers play games with others in person. This is an increase from 59 percent in 2008 and from 56 percent in 2007.

• 42 percent of homes in America have a video game console.

Some of the top selling games showed some new trends as well:

• Action genre games represented 20 percent of total video game sales in 2008.

• Other Genres: Family Entertainment (19.3 percent), Sport Games (15.3 percent), and shooters (10.9 percent).

• 45 percent of games sold in 2008 were rated E. 12 percent were E10+, 27 percent were Teen and 16 percent were Mature.

• The number one selling computer game genre was Strategy (34.6 percent of total sales), followed by RPGs (19.6 percent) and Family Entertainment (17.1 percent).

Another topic that has gotten a lot of press lately on GiN and elsewhere, is how parents fit into the world of gaming. According to the ESA, parents are very engaged in video game picks, and even enjoy some games themselves. According to the ESA:

• 92 percent of the time parents are present when games are purchased or rented.

• 63 percent of parents believe games are a positive part of their kids' lives.

• 83 percent of the time children receive their parents permission before purchasing or renting a game.

• Parents report monitoring the games their children play 94 percent of the time.

• 77 percent of parents believe that the parental controls available in modern game consoles are useful.

• 79 percent of parents place time limits on their kids' game playing.

And of course everyone was focused on the economy. The game industry looked like it might be immune to the economic downturn, but that has changed in the last few months. However, the industry has still put up some impressive numbers in 2008. According to the ESA, there were:

• 11.7 billion dollars on computer and video games in the U.S. in 2008.

• 298.2 million computer and video game units were sold in the U.S. in 2008, and

• 43 percent of Americans have purchased or plan to purchase one or more games in 2009.

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