Video Game Addiction Statistics 2021

Last Updated: November 16, 2021

Jason Wise

Jason Wise

Let’s check out some of the latest video game addiction statistics for 2021 & 2022.
Video Game Addiction Statistics
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People start playing video games as a leisure time activity or a hobby to overcome boredom. But unfortunately, most of them fall to become prey to video game addiction despite the age group.

Everyone has specific reasons to start playing video games, such as overcoming stress from studies or job, experiencing the most dangerous situations in a safe environment, overcoming real-life communication issues, earning money, becoming famous, etc. 

People who cannot create real-life communication connections due to a lack of self-confidence engage in video gaming to become the best version of themselves. 

Video gaming is considered a modern-day drug in society. The latest gaming consoles allow advanced graphics that have evolved to offer a real-like experience for the gamer in the virtual world.

Modern-day video games are less repetitive and are created to engage the player on every second of the playtime. The lack of boredom while playing such games makes people continue the game without bothering the time.

Some games are designed without any proper ends and allow users to play as much as possible. 

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Key Video Game Addiction Statistics

  • More than 2 Billion People Play Video Games.
  • 76% of Under-18 Americans Play Video Games
  • 8.4% of Game Addicts Are Teenagers and Children
  • 73% of Americans Own a Video Gaming Device
  • 35% of Popular Multiplayer Video Games Are Shooting Games
  • $173.70 Billion Revenue Generated from Video Game Industry During 2020
  • 42% of People Like to Play Video Games with Their Friends
  • 57% of Total Video Gaming Revenue Comes from Mobile Games
  • $98.4 Billion Revenue from The Free-To-Play Games
  • 17% of Video Games Are Purchased in Physical Form

In-Depth Video Game Addiction Statistics

While it is proven to be a threat to the health of children, teenagers and young adults, the video gaming industry is booming with advancements in graphics and smartphone embedded technologies. But with more gaming hours, people forget to live real life and avoid social relations.

Let’s check out some of the latest video game addiction statistics for 2021 & 2022.

1. More than 2 Billion People Play Video Games.

A lot of factors aid in the growth of video game addiction among people.

The advanced technologies have created a virtual world around people who play video games, making them want to spend more time inside the game environment rather than going outside or playing physical games.

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2. 76% of Under-18 Americans Play Video Games

According to the statistics from the Entertainment Software Association (ESA,) the trade association of the video game industry in the United States, about 227 million American adults are playing video games.

Around 77% of people have started playing video games with others at least once per week compared to the stats of 2020. 

74% of parents began playing video games with their kids during the Covid-19 pandemic, and 90% of them said they would continue playing video games with kids even after the lockdown situation was over.

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3. 8.4% of Game Addicts Are Teenagers and Children

The latest interactive video gaming experience with advanced digital types of devices attracts teenagers and children easily.

Based on the stats, 11-12% of boys and 6-7% of girls are addicted to video games. According to stats, 4% of the children are extreme game addicts and spend 50 hours per week playing games.

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4. 73% of Americans Own a Video Gaming Device

The device can be the latest version of Xbox or an old-school desktop; people in the US own it for their gaming purpose. According to stats, 49% of gamers use a handheld system, and 29% have access to the VR setup.

5. 35% of Popular Multiplayer Video Games Are Shooting Games

Statistics show that most multiplayer games played by video gamers are shooting games. While 28% of people play action-oriented games, 27% are interested in casual video games.

Studies show that people are more interested in spending time with friends and family playing multiplayer games than any other activity. 

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6. $173.70 Billion Revenue Generated from Video Game Industry During 2020

Most of the contribution to the global revenue came from the US, which is ​​$60.4 billion.

The covid-19 pandemic is the primary reason for the rise in video game revenue since most of the people had to spend a lot of time inside their homes during the lockdown.

Stats says that the revenue is going to overtake $295.63 billion by 2026.

7. 42% of People Like to Play Video Games with Their Friends

People spend more than 7 hours a week playing multiplayer video games. They like to play multiplayer video games mostly with their friends. About 19% play with family and 17% with parents.

16% of them want to play video games with their spouse. According to 55% of them, video games are a significant way of connecting with people.

8. 57% of Total Video Gaming Revenue Comes from Mobile Games

Smartphones are slowly dominating the video game segment. One of the important reasons for mobile dominance is the portability factor.

People can play video games with mobile phones while waiting for a metro train or sitting on a beach! And the latest mobile phones are created with advanced graphics specifications to attract the young crowd.

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9. $98.4 Billion Revenue from The Free-To-Play Games

Based on the Stats, 78% of the video game revenue comes from free-to-play games rather than the paid game versions.

It proves that if people like a game, they are willing to purchase additional products that can enhance their gaming experience.

Video games have started adding various options on each game level to maximum utilize the opportunity.

10. 17% of Video Games Are Purchased in Physical Form

The consumer trends are globally focusing on digital purchasing. It started with electronics, and now people are trying to buy almost everything from digital platforms.

When it comes to video games, the situation is not different. 83% of the game purchases are done digitally.

Most Addictive Video Games Statistics

Video Game addiction, like any other addictions such as drug addiction, porn addiction is very dangerous to one’s health.

It can cause severe damages to physical and mental growth, especially for children. In this section, we can see some of the most addictive video games globally and related stats.

11. 200 Divorce Cases Reported Due to Fortnite Video Game Addiction

In the UK, during the period January 2018 – September, all these divorce cases were reported.

The Fortnite game became a sensation in 2017 and soon evolved into one of the favourite online multiplayer games with 350 million followers.

People played Fortnite games with online streaming to make money, and one person has reported earning $500,000 in a month. 60% of Fortnite players are aged 18-24, and the game almost made $5.1 billion in revenue in 2020.

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12. League of Legends Generated $1.75bn in Revenue in 2020

League of Legends is yet another addictive video game that creates video game addiction issues.

The game has a competitive ranking method, and it offers small milestone victories between significant milestones.

Both these factors are reasons for LoL game addiction. When compared to 2019, LoL got 16% yearly growth by the end of 2020. Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, LoL got 250 million in revenue from 2020.

According to the statistics, people spend more than a 1.5billion hours watching LoL through Twitch. Compared to Fortnite, it is 40% higher and 50% higher than Grand Theft Auto V.

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13. World of Warcraft Has 4.88 Million Players in 2020

The video game offers the players a virtual world for living another person’s life. People can become someone with all the qualities they wish they had in real life, like young, energetic, attractive and flawless.

The community of World of Warcraft is fantastic that people who play this game get to know more people around the world and connect with them.

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Why Are Video Games Dangerous?

Video Games are quite an excellent option to relax people’s minds after an exhausting work/study time. Also, it can connect strangers to friends, and friends to closer to each other.

Many people play video games with family, and studies show that such families have a deep bond compared to others. 

But apart from all such advantages, video games can become dangerous as well.

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Spending 30 minutes on working days and 1-2 hours during weekends for video games are generally considered normal for people.

But as soon as the game becomes an addiction, people tend to spend more than three hours on working days and five to eight hours on weekends.

Statistics show that people spend more and more time in front of the screen prioritizing the video game over all the other responsibilities with time.

In this way, children become distant from parents, a spouse gets distant from a partner etc. Some of the significant issues that happen due to video game addiction are listed below.

Health Issues Due to Video Gaming

Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)

The Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games usually takes more than multiple hours to complete. The game designs are such that the player has to spend a lot of time to achieve a level.

Failure of each level can make the player frustrated and can lead to extended gaming hours.

The eyes are one of the most sensitive organs that can be affected by the harmful blue rays coming from the screen. Scientists named this vision issue “Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).” 

Migraines and Headaches

Continuous screen time causes strain in the eyes, drying and pain on the neck and shoulders. Studies say that prolonged screen time can lead to migraine.

Severe headaches, vomiting tendency, nausea, light and sound sensitivity, etc., are certain symptoms that can lead to migraine.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

It is the irritation that happens to the median nerve at the base of your hand(carpal tunnel). The syndrome is most common to people who use PC for a long time without following the specific body posture.

Since video games demand a very long screen time with fingers working continuously, the chances of getting Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is more.

It is found mainly on the person’s right hand due to prolonged wrist extension to hold the mouse.

Backache

Another major issue faced by gamers due to the unscientific body posture is backache. The extreme backaches can lead to spine distortion and alignment issues, digestion and blood circulation issues, nerve strains, etc.

Musculoskeletal Issues

While diagnosing a child who has a history of video game addictions, dermatologists found hemorrhages and onycholysis (the separation of a fingernail) along with hyperkeratosis.

Also, it is pretty usual to see tendon injuries for video game addicts. 

New England Journal of Medicine reported a fracture of the fifth metatarsal base from game addicts who play Wii video games. It has been termed as Wii fracture.

Obesity and Body Overweight 

Most video games take a significant time to finish. Video game addicts spend a lot of hours inform of the screen in a day. During these times, they seldom move from their position due to concentration on the game screen.

So those people can’t cook healthy food or eat or drink at regular times. The chances are they may skip drinking water, eat food and may order junk food online.

The shortage of physical activity may lead to increased BMI(body mass index) rates. 25% of the children in the USA spend most of their time watching TV or playing video games.

A German study on children found that more than 75% of obese children watch TV or play video games for more than 1.5 hours a day.

Another study showed that people who continuously play video games like to eat junk food even if they are not hungry. It is scientifically proven that eating junk foods is one of the primary reasons for obesity.

Lack of Hygiene

Video game addicts and hygiene are on opposite sides that don’t meet! People who continuously play video games will not compromise their “valuable” game time to wash hands before or after eating food.

They may use their clothes to rub the food residues or not even bother doing that. Statistics show that most video game addicts are lazy to bathe or clean themselves.

Personal hygiene can reduce the causes of many diseases such as hair lice, tooth decay, chronic diarrhoea, body rashes and allergies etc.

Sleep-Related Issues

Sleep is critical for the body to improve its physical performance. Proper rest for body muscles are needed for a healthy person.

Lack of sleep causes a decrease in overall productivity that can affect the studies and job of a person.

For children, sleep is crucial for their physical and mental development. But it is very common for video game addicts to avoid sleeping to spend more time playing.

Eventually, the body will become tired, leading to fatigue or insomnia. There are cases where people face death after spending marathon gaming hours. 

Psychological and Mental Issues

Physical issues are just the tip of the iceberg regarding the consequences of video game addiction.

Gaming Disorder is considered a mental disorder that can occur to people who involve themselves a lot in video gaming. 

Depression

Depression can happen due to several reasons, and video gaming is one of them. Video game addicts eventually fall into depression when they don’t get the results they expect through gaming.

Sometimes playing video games may require money investment. In such cases, when a significant amount is lost, people can become depressed.

On the other hand, a study found out that 9% of school students use video games as a solution whenever they face depression.

They spend more time gaming and try to avoid physical communication with others outside of the game world.

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Aggressive Behaviour

Video gaming reduces regular communication with other people, including close ones.

Statistics show that the majority of the children who engage in violent video games such as mortal combat, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Grand Theft Auto III, MadWorld etc., shows short-tempered behaviour that sometimes later become highly aggressive.

The violent characters in the video game greatly influence children, making them think about performing some real-time actions in the physical world.

Many serial killers and criminals have admitted to being addicted to violent video games during their interrogation.

Anxiety Disorder

Studies have found that people who are inferior to physical world communications doesn’t feel the same during gaming.

Due to many reasons, some people are not active in talking with their partners, colleagues, classmates, and family.  Such people exhibit anxiety whenever someone tries to get inside their personal space.

However, when they are sitting in front of a screen playing a multiplayer game, they feel it easy to communicate with the other person.

Since most online games don’t reveal the person’s true identity sitting on the other side of the screen, it is easy for inferior people to communicate as the game character. 

Are There Any Benefits from Video Gaming?

There are a lot of disadvantages to video gaming addiction. Usually, most people start gaming as a leisure time activity that becomes addictive after some time.

However, video gaming in a controlled environment can yield specific positive results.

Problem Solving Skills

Games are of different genres. Apart from action-filled games, there are strategic games where quick decisions are needed to proceed to the next step.

Some games modify the course of action based on the procedures followed by the gamer.

Studies have proved that certain strategic games influence children to make their own decisions without the help of others, and planning quick strategies to overcome obstacles in the mission has become efficient to solve various tasks in the real world. 

Video Games improve Vision

Though most believe that video games are harmful to the eyes, some studies have shown different results! Of course, staring into a screen for 10 hours can cause damage to visual abilities.

But there are certain games in which close observations are required.

The brain of those who play such games gets trained to notice even the most minor noticeable things in the vision trajectory. 

Hand-Eye Coordination

Certain games require hand and eye coordination to a great level, especially in first-person shooting games such as PUBG.

Some schools even use virtual driving classes to teach people driving before they are allowed inside the actual vehicle!

Improves Grey Matter

Grey matter in the brain controls memories, muscle control, perception, and spatial navigation. Studies show that gaming can improve the grey matter in the brain significantly. It enhances brain connectivity.

Concentration

There are specifically created video games that are used in military and surgery procedures to train people. Video games reduce physical damages while learning to handle extreme situations.

And the advanced AI and VR technologies can almost replicate the exact real-life problem, and users can improve their concentration with regular practice. The Metaverse could further improve this area in future.

Conclusion

Every problem comes with a solution. The video game addiction statistics point out that things can become better with the advancement of technology in the future.

It is essential to identify people who spend more time playing video games and rectify their addiction by supporting them.

At the same time, it is welcoming that future VR technologies are planning to take video games to the next level.

Imagine a running game that needs the gamer to run physically and a boxing game in which the player has to shadow box the actions required!

Such ideas can increase the physical activities by which the player will become healthy and at the same time feel hungry as well as thirsty. 

Most of the children move to video game addiction due to the lack of attention they get from their parents.

Hence, parents should try to spend more time with their children every day by playing games that need physical and strategical requirements.

And most importantly, video game addiction is a situation that requires professional attention, just like any other drug addiction.

Always remember that the balance of life is crucial for the well-being of ourselves and the people surrounding us.

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Written by Jason Wise

Hi! I’m Jason. I tend to gravitate towards business and technology topics, with a deep interest in social media, privacy and crypto. I enjoy testing and reviewing products, so you’ll see a lot of that by me here on EarthWeb.