(BPT) - Did you know playing video games can help provide stress relief? According to the “2022 Essential Facts About the Video Game Industry” report released by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), 97% of Americans recognize the benefits of video games, including a variety of factors supporting mental health and cognitive development, with 89% of video game players reporting that playing helps relieve stress, build useful skills and foster new relationships.
The 2022 report reveals that 66% of Americans play video games, totaling more than 215.5 million players from all ages, backgrounds and walks of life. Gameplay time also continues to rise among players, with an average weekly play time of 13 hours, a 7% increase from 2021. A record-breaking number of people played video games throughout 2021, and this new report shows that as the country emerges from the pandemic, people continue to remain highly engaged with and inspired by video games.
“Last year, the pandemic accelerated the growth of gameplay across the country, as people of all ages turned to video games to relax, maintain community, exercise or learn something new,” said Stanley Pierre-Louis, President and CEO, ESA. “But this year’s report illustrates the impact video games continue to have in supporting wellness and mental health, strengthening relationships, providing community, facilitating skills development and introducing people to new places, cultures and ideas.”
Here are just a few of the benefits of playing video games found in the 2022 Essential Facts About the Video Game Industry report:
1. Games offer stress relief and entertainment
One of the main values of video game play continues to be easy, interactive fun, which can help relieve daily stress. Most players said that video games bring joy through play (93%) and provide mental stimulation (91%).
The most popular and frequently played games include casual game genres such as puzzle, matching, party, music, dance and exercise games — which can also contribute to physical health by getting people up and moving.
2. Playing means socializing
Especially when people are physically separated from one another, the ability to participate in gameplay from a distance and in groups provides an outlet for people seeking a sense of community and connection. Games bring people from around the world together, helping to foster understanding, empathy, curiosity and inclusion.
In the report, 88% of players agreed that video games have the ability to bring people together, while 83% said games can help facilitate and forge new friendships and relationships.
3. Video games are a family affair
Beyond socializing with friends and making new ones, 61% of players say video games have helped them stay connected with family, an 8 percentage point increase from 2021. Even more parents today (77%) find that playing video games with their children can be a great bonding opportunity. In fact, nearly one-third of adults who play video games today are parents.
4. Playing leads to skill building
Almost 9 out of 10 of survey respondents (89%) said playing video games helps improve important skills. Specific skills video game players cited from gameplay (they could choose more than one) included:
- Cognitive skills (88%)
- Collaboration skills (86%)
- Problem-solving (82%)
- Conflict resolution (63%)
- Leadership skills (61%)
In addition, nearly three-fourths of respondents (73%) agreed that video games help teach kids how to win and lose in a healthy manner.
5. Video games are varied and easy to access
Games today are convenient to access and play, at home or on-the-go. While games are played on a variety of consoles (handheld or connected to a TV), personal computers, tablets and virtual reality devices, the most common method for playing continues to be via smartphones. In the report, 70% of video game players used phones for some of their gameplay, while 18% of those people used their smartphones as their only medium for video gameplay.
Players and non-players alike increasingly recognize the benefits of playing video games. No matter how you and your family members play and what types of games you enjoy, playing video games helps you spend time together and share fun and unique experiences whether you're in the same room or miles apart.
To see the complete 2022 Essential Facts About the Video Game Industry report, visit TheESA.com/resource/2022-essential-facts-about-the-video-game-industry.