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Study Reveals Adults Are Online Gaming More Than Kids

Published: August 29, 2022

When it comes to video games and online gaming, many people think that it is mostly a concern for youth. But according to a recent 2022 Essential Facts about the Video Game Industry report, adults far outweigh youth when it comes to time spent online gaming.

In fact, three-quarters of online gamers are over 18, and the average player is 33 years old. So, with both adults and youth playing more online games than ever, what potential impact could this have on individuals and their mental health?

First, it’s important to understand the difference between online gaming and video games. Online gaming is a term that encompasses any game that you play using the internet. These can be played on devices like smartphones, tablets, and gaming consoles. Online games can also be single player, like Candy Crush, multiplayer, or massive multiplayer, where many people play together at once.

Gaming and gambling have more in common than people might think. With in-game wagering, games that encourage purchases, loot boxes, and more gaming can simulate many parts of the gambling experience. This can ultimately lead to a problem for some later down the road. 

In moderation, online gaming can be a way to relieve stress, have fun, and improve critical thinking skills, leadership skills, and hand-eye coordination. But it is still important to know the risks that can come from the activity, along with what a potential problem could look like.

In addition, there are a few signs that can indicate someone may have a problem with excessive gaming or gambling:

  • Gaming has become the priority in life — even before sleeping, eating, exercising, and personal hygiene.
  • Playing even though the person knows it’s causing harm.
  • Relationships with friends and family become strained.

Excessive gaming could put you at risk for developing a problem with gambling — especially if your games include in-game wagers and loot boxes that require real money or simulate a casino. 

Before You Bet recently created the Online Gaming Toolkit which provides resources focused on adult gamers and creating habits to keep online gaming safe and healthy. If you or someone you love are at-risk of excessive online gaming or problem gambling, call the Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-589-9966 or text 4HOPE to 741741 to receive free and confidential support 24/7. 

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