How Much Time Do You Spend Playing Video Games?


If you’re like me, maybe your reflex answer to that question is “not enough.” Sadly, things like eating, sleeping and school or a day job often eat into one’s available time to play video games.

If you use a tracking app like Raptr, maybe you know exactly how much time you spend gaming each week. The Nielsen company has been keeping tabs on that information too, and its most recent report reveals that people in the U.S. ages 13 and up are finding more time to play video games than ever, though in increasingly diverse ways.

Here are the most interesting takeaways from the report:

  • Total time spent gaming each week continues to rise

The weekly time spent playing video games for all U.S. gamers 13 and over increased for the second straight year, going from 5.1 hours in 2011 to 5.6 hours in 2012 to 6.3 hours in 2013. That’s a 12 percent increase from 2012 to 2013 and a clear indication that even as we have more distractions than ever in our daily lives, plenty of people place a high priority on their gaming time.

  • Even core gamers play mobile games

The gaming industry enjoys placing labels on people so they fall neatly into discrete demographic groups that they can target. In real life, it’s rarely that simple, as evidenced by the fact that the crossover between console gamers and mobile gamers continues to rise. In 2013, 50 percent of the survey takers who identified as console gamers also reported playing video games on their smartphones and tablets, up 15 percent from 2011. What’s that mean? Two things, probably: that even the most hardcore gamers enjoy a casual game from time to time as a change of pace, and that mobile developers working on titles to attract core gamers aren’t wasting their time.

  • Mobile gaming appears to be eating into PC gaming time

Nielsen broke down the time spent on each kind of platform — seventh and eighth-gen consoles, PC, dedicated gaming handhelds, mobile phones, tablets and “other.” The findings in this area weren’t as conclusive, but from 2012 to 2013, the percentage of time spent by U.S. gamers on consoles was almost the same, going from 37 to 38 percent. Handhelds also stayed even, while mobile gaming (phones and tablets combined) rose from 13 to 19 percent. That gain seemed to come at the expense of PC gaming, which dropped from 39 percent in 2012 to 33 percent in 2013, enough to see it fall behind console gaming. The guess here is that casual gamers who previously spent a lot of time on their PCs (particularly a few years ago when Facebook games were all the rage among that crowd) have found their needs filled better by mobile devices.

Do you find yourself falling in line with the research, or are you an exception to the trends? Check out the report for yourself and let us know in the comments section.


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