With new national survey data1 finding that six in 10 Americans believe video games bring joy through play, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) today announced the launch of the Game Generation – a national campaign highlighting the power of play and the positive impact of video games on players’ lives, their families, and across society. This initiative will feature the benefits experienced by video game play in homes, classrooms, the workplace, and beyond.
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ESA’s latest data reveals that 73% of Americans play video games to relieve stress, in stark contrast to trends showing that consumers are reevaluating their relationship with technology in an increasingly ‘always-on’ world.
“Game Generation is about celebrating the more than 164 million Americans who love video games and the positive impact that play can have, not only in players’ lives but across communities, families, industries, and in tackling societal challenges,” said Stanley Pierre-Louis, President and CEO of the ESA. “Video games are made to challenge us and to be fun – but they also bring people together from different backgrounds, help build empathy, and inspire game-changing innovations in everything from education to healthcare, and even conflict resolution. This initiative will amplify the collective experiences of the millions who, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, or political views, enjoy video games and share that joy with their children, families, and friends. That’s what makes us all part of the game generation.”
As proof that people value the benefits video games provide beyond entertainment, the ESA’s latest survey data also shows:
- A majority (73%) of parents view the experience their children have with video games to be beneficial in their educational development.
- Nearly two thirds of Americans (63%) agree that problem solving can be developed or improved by playing video games.
- Games help bring people together, as most gamers (65%) play with others or online.
- 56% of Americans believe that video games can create accessible experiences for people with different physical abilities.
- More than half (52%) of Americans agree that teamwork and collaboration can be developed or improved by playing video games.
Game Generation will show firsthand how games instill teamwork and the importance of relying on others. It will show how as an art form, only video games let people truly walk in someone else’s shoes through the diversity of characters or how video games are even emerging as a powerful platform to engage players on important issues such as climate change.
The launch of the Game Generation hub – an easily accessible online platform where players and parents can learn more about the benefits of video games, connect with others by sharing their stories of what play does for them, and access resources for positive play – will empower people to feel part of a movement based on their shared experiences.
The video game industry is rapidly becoming one of the fastest-growing economic sectors in the United States. In 2018, it generated $43 billion in revenue and employed 220,000 people. The growing popularity of eSports both in the U.S. and worldwide further underscores the importance of video games. In 2019, global eSports viewership was expected to reach nearly 500 million and revenues were projected to exceed $1 billion2.
“As one of the fastest growing segments within the entertainment industry, video games have become the dominant form of entertainment in the United States,” said Pierre-Louis. “With the continued growth of the industry, and exciting innovations and developments in esports and other platforms, the power of play is inspiring students to learn better, providing the jobs of tomorrow, helping to solve big challenges through the application of technology, and moving us to engage on important societal issues. We are excited about sharing and celebrating these contributions.”
Game Generation will also provide parents information and resources to help ensure healthy video game play for their families. The video game industry provides tools, such as the parental controls offered across video game platforms as well as the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) ratings, that provide players and parents with clear information about the video games they choose to play.
The initial phase of the campaign will also include:
- A gathering of the leading thinkers from a variety of fields to discuss the power of play, brought together by the Washington Post Live on February 6, 2020 in Washington, D.C. and also accessible online.
- Stories and interviews across national media throughout 2020 highlighting real-world examples of the positive impact of video games, as told by players, innovators, teachers, and scientists.
- The bringing to life of the shared experiences the game generation has across social media
- Regular updates and content shared directly with gamers throughout the year across the Game Generation hub.
- Engagement with a broad national audience through supporting digital advertising that will amplify the stories behind the power of play and allow more people to access the resources available on the platform.
For additional details on the Game Generation campaign, including a portfolio of resources, visit gamegeneration.org.
ESA offers a wide range of services to interactive entertainment software companies, including conducting business and consumer research; providing legal and policy analysis and advocacy 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, visit ESA’s website or follow ESA on Twitter @theESA.
1 ESA Consumer Research, December 2019
2 Newzoo, 2019 Global Esports Market Report