Latest ESA survey shows rise in diversity of gamers

Latest ESA survey shows rise in diversity of gamers
Seth Tipps

By Seth Tipps

June 18th 2013 at 10:45AM

Essential Facts infographic shows rise in age and diversity of gamers

The latest survey of industry consumers shows the stereotype of teenage boys as gaming's biggest consumers is a myth.

The ESA's Essential Facts infographic shows that women now make up 45 percent of gamers, and the average age of a gamer has now risen to 30.

Women also account for 46 percent of those that buy the most games, and the average age of these big spenders is 35.

Males under 18 make up only nineteen percent of industry consumers, whereas women over 18 account for 31 percent.

This raises some interesting questions about game marketing, which many see as skewed towards a more juvenile audience.

These concerns are often mentioned in arguments about violent or sexual content in games, but this latest factsheet shows that parents are becoming more aware of the ESRB's ratings system and take an active interest in their child's gaming habits.

The vast majority of parents, 93 percent, said they monitored the content of their children's games, and 89 percent said they were present when their kids bought or rented games.

The parental controls on consoles are also in widespread use, with 86 percent of parents saying they found them useful.

Closer scrutiny raises some questions about these findings.

88 percent of parents surveyed said they found the system helpful, which is a bit confusing since only 85 percent said there were aware of ERSB ratings.

This may well be due to parents answering questions defensively, as no one wants to be seen as ignorant.

Linking these two sets of demographics, the Essential Facts brochure tells another story; as more gamers become parents, video games are not just an individual hobby, but a family pastime.