Report on the council on Science and Public Health

Characteristics of Gamers

Although 70% to 90% of US youth play video games, a national survey conducted by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) in 2005 identified the prototype gamer as a 30-year-old male who averages between 6.8 and 7.6 hours weekly playing video games. However, results from the November 2005 Active Gamer Study, a survey of 2,000 regular gamers, suggested that the US games market is diversifying. Among males, who constitute the majority of players, the 15-to 25-year-old age group is expanding most significantly. For casual online puzzle-style and simple cellular telephone games, participation by gender is more or less equal. Females are being significantly attracted to playing certain online multi-user video games that offer a more communal experience, and a small group of young females are playing aggressive games that are usually thought of as “traditionally male” games. The ESA survey found that 75% of heads of households played video games, while 35% of gamers were under age 18 years. Additionally, 9.1% of gamers play within the persistent multiplayer gaming universe or MMORPG (massive multiplayer online role playing game). For this report, heavy game use will be defined as those who play more than 2 hours per day.

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