Almost all Americans now see gaming as beneficial after COVID-19 lockdowns

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) today released the findings of its 2022 Essential Facts About the Video Game Industry report. The report shows that gamers are of all ages and backgrounds and illustrates how the industry continues to impact people, culture and the economy – with 97% of all Americans now seeing the benefits of video games.

“Last year, we saw the pandemic accelerate the growth of gameplay across the country, as people of all ages turned to video games – whether for relaxation, maintaining community, making ‘exercise or learn something new,’ said ESA President and CEO Stanley Pierre-dit Louis. “This year’s report demonstrates the impact that video games continue to have – supporting well-being and mental health, strengthening relationships, providing community, facilitating skill development and initiating people to new places, cultures and ideas.”

After record numbers of people playing video games in 2021, the new Essential Facts report shows that as the country emerges from the pandemic, people remain highly engaged and inspired by video games. According to the 2022 report, more than 65% of Americans play video games — translating to more than 215.5 million gamers from all walks of life — and playtime continues to increase among gamers, with time weekly average at 1 p.m., up 7% from 2021.

There has also been an increase in the proportion of gamers who consider games to be beneficial for skill development, mental health and community development:

89% of gamers say video games relieve stress, while 88% say video games help improve cognitive skills.
88% of gamers agree that video games bring different kinds of people together, while 83% say games introduce people to new friends and relationships, an increase of 5 percentage points from 2021.
61% of gamers say
89% of all Americans consider video games useful for developing skills, with problem solving being the top skill (82%).
Other skills saw increases including Conflict Resolution at 63% (up 8 percentage points from 2021) and Leadership Skills at 61% (up 7 percentage points from 2021) ).

Other notable results include:

69% of households have at least one video game player.
Almost a third of adult video game players are parents.
Smartphones are the most common device for playing games: 70% of gamers use their phone to play games, while 18% use their phone only.
Casual genres, such as match-3, brain-puzzle, party, music and dance, and exercise games, continue to be the most played.

The 2022 ESA Consumer Survey was conducted using an online methodology. A 15-minute questionnaire was completed by a representative sample of 4,011 US consumers aged 18 and over in February 2022 (margin of error +/- 2%). Video game players who play at least an hour a week are a subset of this total, accounting for 2,548 of respondents. The survey defines video games as games that can be played on a console, personal computer, mobile device, VR device, etc. These games could include computer and console video games, social games, augmented reality mobile games, virtual reality games and “Games.

You can access the full Essential Facts 2022 report at

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