According to research published by the Entertainment Software Association, the average age of a gamer in 2012 is 30-years-old. Thirty-two percent of gamers are under 18; thirty-one percent are 18-35 and thirty-seven percent are 26 or over.
Interestingly, last year's survey reported that the average age in 2011 was 37. But it's not as if there's been a huge demographic change in gamers. Instead, the ESA has changed its methodology. In the past, the ESA screened its thousands of survey-takers by asking if they had a game console or a PC for playing games. The newest survey is more general; asking whether people "play computer or video games." So the new survey also includes people who play games on phones, tablets, and, presumably, in arcades. Hence the change in ages.
Other fun, demographic facts about games and the people who play them include:
- The average U.S. Household owns at least one dedicated game console, PC or smartphone
- 47 percent of gamers are female
- Women 18 or older represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (30%) than boys age 17 or younger (18%)
- 49 percent of households own a console, and the average number of consoles owned is two
- The average age of a frequent game buyer is 35
- The top reasons people purchase games: Quality of graphics, interesting storyline, because it's a sequel and word-of-mouth.
- Thirty-three percent of gamers play on their phones
- Sixty-two percent of gamers play games with others (in-person or online)
- Adult gamers have been playing for an average of 14 years; males average 16 years of game play, females average 12 years
If you want to take a look at the entire ESA 2012 Survey, here's a link. It's definitely interesting reading.
Now that you know all about the demographics of the industry, what do you think? Personally, I was most surprised by the huge percentage of female gamers out there -- almost half and no doubt growing by the day.