Gaming isn’t just for younger generations. While Gen Z and Millennials are much more likely to spend their free time on gaming than any other form of entertainment, there is a growing number of older consumers (re)engaging with games. People game to relax, for escapism, and to fill time. They also provide spaces to socialize, compete, and create— especially for digital-native generations. To that end, there is more to gaming than simply playing. Newzoo’s how different generations engage with games report summarizes all of this.

How does engagement with video games differ by generation?

  1. Gaming takes a larger share of leisure time with younger generations – Games are a major form of entertainment for all consumers. This is especially true for younger generations, who spend more leisure time on games than on any other entertainment medium. In fact, the share of time spent on gaming increases with each new generation (e.g. Gen Z spends 25% of their leisure time gaming, versus 10% of Baby Boomers). For brands and advertisers, games present strong opportunities for reaching a broad, diverse audience. These opportunities will only increase as games continue to dominate consumers’ mindshare and leisure time
  2. The younger the generation, the more diverse their gaming engagement – Gamers have diverse demographic profiles and engage with the pastime in many ways beyond playing. Most older generations tend to play games more casually, typically playing on mobile to fill time. In contrast, younger generations tend to engage with gaming in many other ways, including viewing game-related content, discussing the latest developments in community spaces, listening to podcasts, and discussing video games with their friends e.g. 67% of Millennial gamers play games and watch video game content vs 51% of Gen X
  3. Most people play to unwind, but younger generations have many motivations – Across all generations, relaxing and unwinding is the most common reason for playing games. A whopping 92% of Baby Boomers who game report playing to relax. While younger generations do play to unwind, they are also motivated by other reasons, including competition, socializing, and a sense of achievement. This is one of the reasons younger gamers are more likely to play multiplayer games e.g. 79% of Baby Boomers play single-player mode most often on PC games vs. 45% of Gen Z

The how different generations engage with games report includes statistics and insights on a number of areas, including:

  • Percentage of leisure time spent per entertainment platform (outside of work)
  • Gen Z and millennial gameplay (in hours) in the past 6 months
  • Percentage of players by generation by platform
  • Gamer segmentation overlaid by generation
  • Types of engagement with gaming by generation
  • What needs gaming fulfills for each generation
  • How the metaverse is offering new opportunities to engage with gamers

To read the how different generations engage with games report’, click here.

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