From PocketGamer.biz: The video game industry’s influence will be on display once again in June, when E3 – the world’s premier tradeshow for computer, video and mobile games – takes place.
More than just a launch pad for industry defining hardware and software, E3 brings together tens of thousands of the best, brightest and most innovative professionals in the interactive entertainment industry, serving up games, peripherals and new platforms on which to enjoy them.
Now is a good time though to reflect on how video games and the industry have evolved.
Contrary to what non-gamers might think, gaming isn’t just for young boys anymore.
In fact, it hasn’t been for some time now, especially with the explosive growth of gaming on mobile devices, which has helped bring the videogame experience to a much broader and diverse audience.
The changing face of gamers
Today’s video games provide rich, engaging entertainment across all platforms and has evolved into a true mass market with 59% of Americans actively playing along, according to the 2014 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry report by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA); owners of E3.
In a sign of the industry’s continuing maturation, the average gamer isn’t a teen boy as one might think, but rather a 31-year old adult who’s been playing for at least 14 years.
Even more surprising is that in an industry traditionally dominated by males, nearly half (48%) of all gamers are female.
The ESA’s report further reveals that women over the age of 18 represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (36%) than boys age 18 or younger (17%).
The console wars get mobilized
While PC and video game consoles still reign among hard core gamers, the industry has broadened significantly its platform footprint over the years to include smart phones and gaming “in the cloud,” among other innovative advancements.
Reports show 44% of gamers play games on their smartphone, and 33% play on their wireless devices (e.g. iPad, laptop).
An American event with global implications
Video games are a strong engine for economic growth. Computer and video game companies directly and indirectly employ more than 146,000 people across the U.S.
Computer and video game companies directly and indirectly employ more than 146,000 people across the U.S.
In addition, from 2009 to 2012, the U.S. video game industry increased in size by more than 9 percent – four times the growth rate of the U.S. economy during the same period.
As the single most important event for international interactive entertainment companies seeking to do business in North America, E3 gives European and Asian publishers, developers and attendees an opportunity to maximize their own internal investments to a broader audience.
As in prior years, what happens at E3 2015 will directly impact the future of the international gaming market.
More than the bottom line
Beyond engaging entertainment, video games help drive societal advancements. A study out of East Carolina University found a 57% decrease in depressive symptoms among those who played casual video games.
On the education front, 70% of teachers who use games in their classroom noted that video games increased students’ motivation and engagement levels.
With the advent of smart TVs with large HD screens and surround sound audio, video games have found a special place in the center of American’s living rooms.
What was once relegated to bedrooms, basements and playrooms, video games have become a source of family entertainment, with parents, children, and even grandparents all vying for the controls.
The majority of parents (56%) interviewed said video games are a positive part of their child’s life, while 88% think that game play is fun for the whole family, and 75% believe playing games offers a good opportunity to connect with their child.
As E3 2015 comes closer, it is clear that the video game industry, with its impact on the economy, culture, entertainment, education and the family dynamic, continues to play an ever-important role in our lives.
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