Parents believe games are good for kids

From our friends at the ESA.


April 24, 2014 – Washington, DC – A majority of parents say playing video games benefits their children, according to new research released today by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). The report, 2014 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry, reveals that 56 percent of parents say video games are a positive part of their child’s life.

Other key findings include that 68 percent of families with children under 18 at home believe game play provides mental stimulation or education, and more than 50 percent believe games help them spend time together. Moreover, 58 percent of parents whose children are gamers play games with their kids at least monthly, and among parents who play with their kids, 88 percent believe video games are fun for the entire family.

“Parents across America recognize the widespread benefits of video games, including education, mental stimulation, and the bonding opportunities they create for families,” said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of ESA, the trade association that represents the U.S. video game industry. “Video games are a favorite pastime enjoyed by men and women of all ages, and millions worldwide who share their game play experiences with friends and family.”

The report also found that parents monitor their children’s game play. In fact, 95 percent of parents report paying attention to the content of the games their children play, and 91 percent are present when games are purchased or rented. Additionally, 88 percent of parents whose children play games believe the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) video game ratings are either very or somewhat helpful in choosing games for their children.

“Our industry has an unparalleled commitment to helping parents make informed entertainment choices, and these findings underscore the value of the ESRB rating system,” Gallagher said. (Bart adds:) Personally I strongly advice all parents to play all games their children play and reflect on what they play in an interactive way with their children. Not all games are suitable for all kids – and you should invite them to play a broad variety of games – not just one genre over-and-over again. Especially since kids are very sensitive to patter-recognition (compare why kids love to read the same comic over and over or cartoons over and over) which makes it so addictive to play. It’s good to stimulate to play multiple genres, set rules for when to play (after homework is done and checked) and never more than 1 or 2 hours continuously.

The 2014 Essential Facts also provides statistics on gamer demographics; the types of games played and the kinds of game platforms used; the top-selling video games; and other industry sales information. Notable findings include:

  • 181.3 million Americans play video games;
  • 51 percent of U.S. households own a game console, and those that do own an average of 2;
  • The average game player is 31 years old, and 39 percent of game players – the largest age segment – are 36 or older;
  • Gamers play on-the-go: 44 percent play on smartphones, and 33 percent play on wireless devices;
  • Casual and social game play on mobile devices and online increased in popularity by 55 percent from 2012 to 2013; and
  • Consumers spent more than $21 billion on game content, hardware, and accessories in 2013.

Essential Facts is the most in-depth and targeted survey of its kind. It is conducted by Ipsos MediaCT, gathering data from more than 2,200 nationally representative households (Bart adds: in the USA).

ESA offers services to interactive entertainment software publishers, including conducting business and consumer research; providing legal and policy analysis; advocating on First Amendment, intellectual property, and technology/e-commerce issues; managing a global content protection program; owning and operating E3; and representing video game industry interests in federal and state government relations. For more information, please visit

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