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The number of video gamers around the world has been growing steadily every year, according to a study by FinancesOnline. In 2021, there are 2.81 billion video gamers worldwide, compared to 2.69 billion in 2020 and 2.55 billion in 2019. This year, 40 percent of the global population are video game players.
China is the top gaming market, with 2020 revenues worth $40.85 billion. The U.S. comes second at $36.92 billion, and Japan is third at $18.68 billion. All other countries have annual revenues of less than $10 billion. Market growth is growing fastest in Southeast Asia, earning $4.3 billion from 2019 to 2020.
In terms of the number of gamers in 2020, the Asia Pacific region leads with 1.447 billion people. A far second is Europe with 386 million gamers, Middle East and Africa with 377 million gamers, Latin America with 266 million gamers, and North America with 210 million gamers.
Among gamers around the world in 2020, 26 percent play from one to five hours a week, 19 percent play from six to 10 hours a week, 10 percent play 11 to 15 hours a week, 10 percent play less than an hour a week, seven percent play more than 20 hours a week, and six percent play 16 to 20 hours a week. The average worldwide is 6.33 hours a week.
Gaming in the U.S.
According to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) annual report released in July, there are 226.6 million players of video games in the U.S. as of February 2021 compared to 214.4 million in the previous year. More than half or 55 percent are male, and the average age is 31. Thirty-eight percent are 18 to 34 years old, 20 percent are below the age of 18, 14 percent are 35 to 44 years old, 12 percent are 45 to 54 years old, nine percent are 55 to 64 years old, and seven percent are 65 years old and above.
Video gaming is also a source of social interaction as 77 percent play in-person or online with others at least once a week. It strengthens family bonds because 74 percent of gamers who are parents play video games with their children at least once a week. More than half or 55 percent of gamers said they are playing more in the pandemic. Most or 90 percent stated that even when restrictions are lifted, they will continue to play.
Gaming PCs, Laptops, and Consoles
Gamers use various devices to play on. Some have preferences, while others have several options on hand.
A gaming personal computer (PC) has the biggest screen, with gamers choosing their screen size. It also has the highest quality of graphics and options for upgrading. Depending on the budget, a gamer can find a professional PC builder online to assemble the most powerful gaming machine. On the other hand, there are also mid-priced options. A gamer with a lower budget can have a PC built according to that budget and then save up to upgrade it in stages.
A gaming laptop has a smaller screen and less powerful performance. There are models specifically made for gaming, though, and the advantage is that these are convenient to carry around when leaving the house.
Gamers can also use large screen TVs to play on if they connect gaming consoles to it, such as the Playstation by Sony, Xbox by Microsoft, and Switch by Nintendo. Only the Switch has its own portable screen that can be carried around, though. Experts state that the Xbox and PlayStation are more powerful than the Switch and have more games. The latter, however, has newer and more innovative games.
Playing As Healing
According to the ESA annual report, 55 percent of the gamers surveyed stated that playing video games provided relief from stress amid the pandemic, while 48 percent stated that gaming distracted them from the crisis.
According to the study by FinancesOnline, 80 percent of gamers think that video games stimulate them mentally, 79 percent think that these provided stress relief and relaxation, 63 percent think that these help solve their problems, 57 percent think that these bring them joy, 55 percent think that these connects them with their friends, and 50 percent think that these provide family time.
The immersive video gaming experience can be a temporary escape from grim realities, much like a mini vacation. It provides respite to the mind and emotions, allowing the individual to gather the ability to confront reality again afterward. With multi-player gaming, the need for human interaction and connection is met, as well.