New Entertainment Software Association study reveals profiles those who plays video games as well as how, when and why they play.

( — May 10, 2016) — The Entertainment Software Association released their annual Essential Facts About The Computer and Video Game Industry study. The finds of the study shine light on who exactly is playing video games and exactly how, when and why they choose to spend their time like this. The data from this year’s study is not only enlightening, but it is crushing many stereotypes that live in the gaming industry.

Michael D. Gallager, president and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association explained that the gaming industry is changing everyday and will continue to impact daily life.

“Video games are the future. From education and business, to art and entertainment, our industry brings together the most innovative and creative minds to create the most engaging, immersive and breathtaking experiences we’ve ever seen. The brilliant developers, designers and creators behind our games have and will continue to push the envelope, driving unprecedented leaps in technology impacting everyday life for years to come.”

Video games are indeed the future. In fact, more than half of all United States households have at least one member that plays video games regularly. These households each claim to own at least one device to play the video games. However, many believe that this large group of players is made up of teenage boys, but the study proves otherwise. The study describes the average video game player is divided almost equally between the genders, with just slightly more being males. The average game player is also around 35 years of age. The most surprising fact of the study is that more than 40 percent of women are players of video games. These women are made up of middle-aged women and contribute to almost half of all video game sales.

Another common aspect gamers share is their love of social games. Gaming experts say that gamers crave a social aspect in games. They would rather play with friends or family members, and when playing alone they prefer online multiplayer games.

The study also broke down what kind of devices were used to play these games. More than 55 percent of gamers say they use a PC, while most others prefer a gaming console. Rounding out the gaming devices are smartphones, tablets and other handheld devices.

Another myth when it comes to the common gamer is what motivates them to spend their time playing these games. While there are some that use gaming as a way to de-stress or relax, a large percentage of those who participated in the study say they believe that gaming provides mental stimulation and educational purposes. Popular games, such as Color Switch, have been touted as simple, entertaining games that can exercise the mind.

It has been proven that certain games can help boost learning in children and young adults. While there has been a long-standing debate over the effects of heavy video game use, many pediatricians are saying that responsible gaming could do great things for a child.

“These tools have become so powerful that a few pediatricians are now rethinking the American Academy of Pediatrics screen time guidelines. Why? Because so many parents are having positive, nurturing, bonding experiences with their kids and their iPads,” writes Greg Toppo, a reporter for USA Today.

As the gaming industry continues to grow and change, we will see gaming infiltrate all aspects of lives. Gaming experts say that these games can be used for more than entertainment purposes.

“We will see games everywhere around us. I’m not explicitly talking about ‘gamification’ or thin applications that strip games of their depth. We will see deep and immersive experiences that will transform learning in and outside of school, workforce training, medical treatment, social interactions, how people practice and rehearse real-world skills, and of course, entertainment,” explains the president for Games for Change, Asi Burak.