Gaming as a hobby is booming. The trend is unstoppable: According to current evaluations by the Association of the German Games Industry, six out of ten Germans play games - and many people apparently take their passion for video games with them as they get older: the average game fan is now 37,9 years old. These figures are confirmed by the VPN network provider ExpressVPN, who started its own survey: According to this, millennials in particular like to sit at the PC or console. 

During the corona pandemic, video games experienced an enormous boom, but the market has now stabilized again - "at a high level", as the Federal Association Game (own spelling: game) based on GfK data and "". The pandemic period with noticeable restrictions up to and including partial lockdowns gave the industry significant jumps in sales - and the desire for new games, apps and in-game items has at least not decreased in the past year: in the end there is a minimal increase of one percent. Gaming online services, such as subscription services or cloud services, continued to rise noticeably. Sales there jumped by a whopping 20 percent from around 719 million euros in 2021 to 866 million euros last year. Overall, the German games market is worth almost ten billion euros. 

Video games are not just a hobby for young people

Not only have sales stabilized, but so has the number of gaming fans. The pandemic attracted numerous curious people, and last year the desire for adventures in virtual worlds was obviously strong: six out of ten of the six to 69-year-olds in Germany spend their time playing video games. The gender ratio is almost balanced: 48 percent of the players in Germany are women, 52 percent men. 

The average age has continued to rise slightly to 37,9 years. Even if games and games are often associated with a particularly young audience: the majority is at least 18 years old. According to the Federal Association, adult game fans account for the lion's share of 78 percent. 

The service provider ExpressVPN confirms the age data with its own survey: According to it, millennials, i.e. people between the ages of their late 20s and early 40s, play more than younger game fans of the so-called Generation Z (Gen Z), which means people aged up to 20 years. The data in the United States and Great Britain are thus similar to those from Germany – at least that is what the survey suggests, for which the VPN service provider evaluated responses from 1.000 fans in the USA and 1.000 fans from the UK. 

Playing time: The older, the doller

Not only the average age of the game fans is surprising, but also their gaming behavior. According to the survey, it is the age group of people between the ages of 46 and 55 who spend the most time sitting at their PC or console or playing with their smartphone: 18 percent say they gamble more than 24 hours a week. For comparison: Among 16 to 25 year olds it is only three percent.

Basically, the following applies: the older a player is, the higher the games consumption per week. Also interesting, but far less surprising, is the fact that millennials tend to gamble after hours. "Silver Gaming fans" often have both feet on the job, so they can only indulge in their hobby after work. However, 59 percent of those surveyed said they continue to gamble even if they "know that it may disturb their sleep or negatively impact their other duties." Many a fan should know this from their own experience, for example when a new game comes onto the market and the start time is at night. Such behavior can be observed again and again with the release of content updates, for example in popular MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft: Fans hardly shy away from a gaming session here, which usually doesn't start until midnight.  

On closer inspection, the reasons for the increased games consumption among older people are obvious: they mostly just grew up with the topic. The biggest games platform releases – such as Nintendo's NES and SNES, Sega's MegaDrive or the Playstation 1 from Sony – come in their youth or childhood. And good gaming computers have also been good entry points into the hobby, to which one now remains true. In the XNUMXs and XNUMXs, video games went from being niche products to being mass-produced – the attraction for fans from those birth periods is correspondingly great. And: Millennials are usually much better off financially and can afford games and hardware. 

The danger of gaming addiction is latent with high levels of consumption: around five percent of millennials say they feel addicted to gaming. In the Gen Z it's three percent. Playing in moderation is therefore the order of the day, not least because the relaxation of a session can sometimes turn into negative emotions. For example, when they can't play their favorite games, according to ExpressVPN's survey. Incidentally, shooters are particularly common on the screen – in women and men. And the smartphone has long since replaced other platforms as the preferred gaming device.