Power of Play – Global Report 2023

People tend to think of video games exclusively as entertainment. But as the industry continues to evolve in scope and technology, there is a growing discussion around the benefits of playing video games that go beyond having fun.

For the first time, national trade associations (NTAs) serving the video game industry around the world issued a survey to look at the behaviors and interests of nearly 13,000 players (ages 16 and older) across 12 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Global players agreed that “having fun” is the number one reason they play games, but also shared that playing video games helps them get through difficult times in their lives, provides them with healthy outlets from everyday challenges and makes them feel happier. Players also universally look to video games for mental stimulation and stress relief.

Many people turned to video games as a way to keep connected with friends and family during the COVID-19 pandemic, and those trends have continued. The global player survey shows that more than half of players play games with other people online and more than a third play with other people in person. Nearly half of all global players say they have met a good friend, spouse or significant other through video games.

Power of Play report European data - video games brings people of all abilities together, providing them with mental stimulation and offers stress relief.

But players are not the only ones who are seeing and experiencing the positive effects of playing video games – in fact, a burgeoning body of academic, peer reviewed research is challenging outdated assumptions about video games and the 3 billion people worldwide who play them. Scientific studies have increasingly found video games provide an important service as a global gathering place for friends, a tool for positive mental health and an outlet for creativity, in addition to offering fun and escapism.

This report includes results from the player survey as well as findings from approximately 15 recent academic studies that validate the survey data. This research reveals that video games provide players with social and emotional benefits not replicated by other forms of entertainment, confirming the Power of Play.

In addition to the European data, country specific data is available for: France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom.