Pew Study: Adults Play Games, But Not as Much as Teens

In September, the Pew Internet & American Life Project told us that games are pervasive among 12-17 year-olds, and that teen gamers are not the closeted nerds that some critics would suggest.

This week Pew has followed up with a report on the gaming habits of adults and finds that, while they don’t play as much or in the same fashion as teens, many do play. Some highlights of the Pew data follow:

Regarding age and gaming:

  • 53% of American adults age 18 and older play video games
  • 21% play everyday or almost everyday.
  • While the number of video gamers among adults is substantial, it is still well under the number of teens (97%) who play.
  • Younger (18-29) adults are considerably more likely than older (65+) adults to play games (85% vs. 23%)
  • The likelihood that an adult is a video gamer decreases significantly with age.

Regarding other demographic factors and gaming:

  • Men (55%) are slightly more likely than women (50%) to play
  • Urbanites (56%) are more likely than rural-dwellers (47%) to play
  • Thise with some college (57%) are more likely to play that those with a high school education (51%) or those who did not complete high school (40%)

Older gamers prefer computers; younger gamers like consoless:

  • 38% of all adults play on computers, while 28% play on consoles
  • 61% of 18-29 year-olds play games on consoles
  • 86% of teens play on consoles

Virtual worlds like Second Life haven’t captured the public imagination:

  • Only 2% of gamers have ever visited a virtual world
  • Only 6% of adults have ever created an avatar
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