Gamers aren't as young and spotty as you think

The US gaming body, the Entertainment Software Association has been doing some research about gamers and dug up some surprising facts about your average joystick twiddler or keyboard thumper.

Within the massive 72 per cent of American households that play video games, some 82 per cent of those doing the gaming are adults. And some 42 per cent of those are women. In fact women aged 18 or older represent more than one third of the game-playing population, the research suggests.

The average game player is 37 years old, the ESA reckons, while the average game purchaser is 41 years old.

Forty-five per cent of parents report playing computer and video games with their children at least weekly and nine out of ten parents pay attention to the content of the games their children play. In addition, 68 per cent of parents believe that game play provides mental stimulation or education, while 57 per cent say games encourage their family to spend time together. Some 54 per cent say that playing games helps their children connect with their friends.

Forty-five per cent of parents report playing computer and video games with their children at least weekly and nine out of ten parents pay attention to the content of the games their children play. In addition, 68 per cent of parents believe that game play provides mental stimulation or education, 57 per cent believe games encourage their family to spend time together, and 54 per cent believe that game play helps their children connect with their friends.

“Our industry’s innovative titles are reaching new consumers in broader, deeper and more-engaging ways,” Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of the ESA said in a statement. “Technological advancements and terrific entertainment experiences in our industry make it possible for people of all ages to enjoy games at home or on the go, and the creativity of our developers and publishers leads to an ever-expanding variety of video games to choose from in both digital and physical formats.”

Compilers of the 2011 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry report quizzed 1,200 'nationally representative households' which have been identified as owning either a video game console, a personal computer or both, used to run entertainment software.

The ESA reckons US consumers spent $25.1 billion on game content, hardware and accessories in 2010.