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45+ Video Game Addiction Statistics (2023): How Many People are Addicted?

Last updated: 5 months ago
7 min read

An estimated 3.3% of gamers worldwide (or more than 105 million gamers) suffer from video game addiction. And many more addicted are left unknown.

Dive into shocking statistics on:

  • How many gamers and gaming addicts are in the world and in different countries
  • How many teenagers have video game addiction, and what are its effects on their everyday life
  • Which video games are statistically the most addictive

Did you know what type of people are the most likely to buy a video game? More on that later. You are going to be surprised.

Video Game Addiction Statistics

Key Video Game Addiction Statistics

  • 3.2 billion people (or 40% of the population) play video games, with at least 105.6 million being addicted to gaming.
  • 8.5% of adolescent American gamers show signs of video game addiction.
  • 94% of video game addicts are male, and 69% of addicts are of white ethnicity.
  • Based on people’s reviews, Rocket League is the most addictive video game, with “social simulation” being the most addictive genre.
  • Chinese gamers spend more than 12 hours per week playing video games, compared to US gamers spending almost 8 hours per week.

How Many People Play Video Games?

  • There are around 3.2 billion gamers worldwide in 2022.
There are more than 3.2 billion gamers worldwide

That means 40% of all people on the planet play video games.

(Newzoo)

  • According to Statista, there are an estimated 3.09 billion active gamers in 2022.
YearNumber of active video
game players worldwide
2024
(forecast)
3.32 billion
2023
(forecast)
3.22 billion
20223.09 billion
20212.96 billion
20202.81 billion
20192.64 billion
20182.49 billion
20172.33 billion
20162.17 billion
20152.03 billion
(Statista)

Note: How many PC gamers are there?

The introduction of the “all-you-can-play” game streaming services like Xbox Game Pass attracting more and more people supports the growing numbers.

  • In the US, 36% of young adults aged 18-34 play video games.

Followed by 24% of gamers under 18 years of age.

Age groupPercentage of
US video gamers
Under 1824%
18-3436%
35-4413%
45-5412%
55-649%
65+6%
(Theesa)

Share of video gamers based on ethnicity:

EthnicityPercentage of
US video gamers
White71%
Hispanic10%
Black8%
Asian/
Pacific/
Islander
7%
Other3%
(Theesa)

Here’s more general technology addiction data.

How Many People are Addicted to Video Games?

  • Around 3.3% (or 105.6 million) of gamers worldwide have a gaming disorder.
More than 105 million gamers worldwide are addicted to gaming"

The percentage is based on 61 studies conducted before December 3rd, 2020.

Studies covered 227,665 participants from 29 countries. Out of all participants, 8.5% of males and 3.5% of females showed signs of gaming disorder.

The NIH study concluded that roughly 3.3% of gamers worldwide suffer from gaming addiction. Based on the number of gamers today, that represents at least 105.6 million gamers worldwide.

GenderPercentage of gamers
with a gaming disorder
Male8.5%
Female3.5%
(NIH)

How Many Americans Play Video Games?

  • There are 215.5 million active gamers in the US in 2022.

That represents 66% of the US population across all ages.

65% of gamers are adults, whereas 71% are gamers under 18.

GenderPercentage of
gamers in the US
Adults65%
Under 1871%
(Theesa)

According to US gamers, 88% say video games can help improve cognitive skills.

Skills that gaming can
supposedly improve
Percentage of
gamers claiming
Cognitive skills88%
Creative skills86%
Teamwork &
collaboration skills
86%
Communication63%
Leadership skills61%
(Theesa)

US gamers also claim video games can:

Bring joy93%
Provide mental
stimulation
91%
Provide stress
relief
89%
Inspire81%
Teach kids how to respond
when winning/losing
in a normal manner
73%
(Theesa)
  • At 63%, having fun is the most common reason for playing video games for American gamers.

57% of them play games to unwind.

Common reasons to play
video games among
American gamers
Percentages
To have fun63%
To unwind57%
To escape46%
The use their brain44%
For comfort38%
To connect26%
(Theesa)

How many Americans are addicted to video games?

  • An estimated 3 million gamers in the US could be addicted to gaming.
More than 3 million Americans suffer from video game addiction

(VGA)

  • According to a 2016’s study, between 0.3% and 1% of Americans suffer from internet gaming disorder.

The same criteria are true for the UK, Canada, and Germany.

However, the percentage could now be higher.

(Psychiatry)

What Country has The Most Gamers?

  • With 742.19 million, China has the highest number of gamers in the world.
Countries with the highest number of gamers

Brazil, while having the third largest group of gamers, is only the tenth in gaming revenue.

CountryNumber of
video gamers
China742.19 million
USA197.16 million
Brazil100.74 million
Japan78.1 million
Germany49.76 million
France39.34 million
UK39.1 million
Italy37.64 million
South Korea33.8 million
Canada21.91 million
(Newzoo 2)
  • 55% of all gamers in 2022 come from the Asia-Pacific region.

Middle East & Africa sit far behind with 488 million gamers.

World regionNumber of
video gamers
Share of all
video gamers
Year-on-year
growth
Asia-Pacific1.74 billion55%+4.2%
Middle East
& Africa
488 million15%+8.2%
Europe430 million13%+3.4%
Latin America315 million10%+4.8%
North America219 million7%+2.6%
(Newzoo)

What Nation has The Highest Rate of Video Game Addiction?

While there are no exact numbers on which country has the highest rate of gaming addiction, various studies and surveys suggest that:

  • Between 0.3% to 1% of Americans, Canadians, Englishmen, and Germans fit the criteria for gaming disorder (Psychiatry).
  • According to a Japanese survey, between 0.7% and 27.5% of respondents show signs of gaming disorder (PCN).
  • A Norwegian study from 2015 revealed that 1.41% of gamers are addicted, whereas 7.30% are problematic. There were also engaged gamers, representing 3.88%. The remaining 87.4% were normal gamers (NIH 2).
  • An average of 13.9% of male students in Hong Kong spent more than 20 hours per week playing video games (HKU).
  • Out of 2024 adolescent participants in the South Korean study, 5.9% were classified with gaming disorder (10.4% boys and 1.2% girls), with another 8% at risk of developing one (NIH 3).
  • 3.5% of German teenagers struggle with gaming addiction (ScienceDirect).
  • Around 3.7% of Iranian gamers met the criteria for gaming disorder (ResearchGate).
  • China was the first country to open clinics for people with and gaming addiction (CNET).
  • The UK opened its first clinic specifically for video game addiction in 2019 (N World).

In general, Asian players struggle with addiction but they’re also better professional esports players.

What is The Average Time Spent Playing Video Games?

  • The average gamer spends around 8 hours and 27 minutes per week playing video games.

That equates to 1 hour and 12 minutes per day.

This is much less than what time people spend on social media.

(Statista 2)

Average time spent playing video games per country

  • Chinese gamers spend playing video games the most out of all, with an average of 12 hours and 23 minutes per week.

On top of having the largest number of gamers in the world.

Average weekly time spent playing video games

Here’s the table of average weekly playtime per country:

CountryAverage time playing
video games per week
China12 h 23 min
Vietnam10 h 9 min
India8 h 36 min
Indonesia8 h 32 min
USA7 h 42 min
UK7 h 10 min
Germany7 h 7 min
South Korea5 h 52 min
(Statista 2)

Most Common Effects of Video Game Addiction

  • The DSM-5 scale for internet gaming disorder consists of 9 symptoms.

A person with a gaming addiction diagnosis must experience at least 5 of these symptoms in a year.

  1. Continuous prolonged gaming sessions
  2. Withdrawal symptoms after trying to stop gaming
  3. More gaming is required to achieve the same level of satisfaction
  4. Failing to reduce or quit gaming
  5. Replacing previously enjoyable hobbies for gaming
  6. Being aware of problems yet continuing to play video games
  7. Lying about how much time goes into gaming
  8. Using gaming as a getaway when in a negative mood
  9. Losing or risk losing a job or a relationship due to excessive gaming

(NIH 4)

These are the most common signs that video gaming addiction has started to affect your life:

  • Lack of sleep – which could lead to mood changes
  • Abandoning other hobbies – like sports, going out with friends, spending time with family
  • Neglecting work or schoolwork – constant thinking about gaming means poorer concentration and worse school/work performance
  • Poor hygiene – going straight to playing video games after arriving home can result in forgetting to take a shower or changing clothes
  • Conflicts at home over excessive video game usage
  • Fatigue, back & neck pain, weight changes, eye strain

(Delamere, Psychiatry 2)

  • A study in 2009 found a 12% correlation between gaming addiction and anxiety and sleeping disorders.
DisorderCorrelation percentage
between gaming addiction
Sleeping
disorder
12%
Anxiety12%
Depression6%
Physical
disorder
4%
Social functioning
disorder
1%
(NIH 5)
  • Among South Korean adolescents with gaming disorder, 9.2% suffered from anxiety, 15.1% from depression, and 10.9% from impulsiveness.

11% of participants with internet gaming disorder had more than 2 non-psychotic psychological symptoms.

(NIH 4)

Video Game Addiction Demographics

  • Males represent 94% of video game addicts.
94% of game addicts are male, the remaining 6% are female

(Mindful Gamer, Oxford)

  • 69% of video game addicts are white.

Asians represent 13%, whereas the remaining 18% represent the Others.

EthnicityPercentage
of gamers
White69%
Asian13%
Others18%
(Game Quitters)

Video gamer demographics

  • Most internet users that play video games are 16 to 24 years old.
Percentage of gamers among internet users

In the same age group, 91.1% of males and 86.4% of females play games.

Age groupPercentage
of males
Percentage
of females
16-2491.1%86.4%
25-3488.7%86%
35-4486.8%82.6%
45-5479.7%76.5%
55-6468%67.7%
(Datareportal)
  • More than 36% of gamers have graduated from college.

Percentage of gamers, depending on their degree of education.

Degree of
education
Percentage of
gamers
Didn’t attend
school
0.1%
High school
graduate
13.7%
1 year of
college
9.7%
2 year of
college
19.1%
3 year of
college
9.5%
College
graduate
36.7%
Some graduate
school
2.9%
Finished
graduate
school
8.3%
(Statista 3)
  • People with a high school degree were the likeliest to buy a video game, at 18.5%.
Degree of
education
Likeliness of buying
a video game
High School18.5%
Associate16.9%
Bachelor’s14.7%
Doctor of Philosophy11.6%
Juris Doctor10.1%
Master of Engineering10%
Doctor of Pharmacy9%
Master of Business8.7%
Doctor of Medicine8.3%
Master of Arts8.2%
Master7.4%
Medical6.7%
Doctor of Dental Surgery5.8%
(Earnest)
  • American gamers likeliest to buy a video game have between $67,000-$76,000 in yearly income.
Yearly incomePercentage of American
gamers ready to buy a
video game
<$42,00013.2%
$42,000 – $49,00012.6%
$50,000 – $59,00012.4%
$60,000 – $66,00012.3%
$67,000 – $76,00013.5%
$77,000-$89,00012.4%
$90,000-$104,00011.8%
$105,000-$124,00011.3%
$125,000-$164,0009.1%
$165,000+9.7%
(Earnest)

Teenage Video Game Addiction

  • One research showed that more than 19% of males and 7.8% of females have signs of gaming disorder.

Addictive Behaviors published the study, focused on 3,000 students.

GenderPercentage of those who have
signs of gaming disorder
Males19%
Females7.8%
(Newport Academy)
  • Over a 6-year study, the pathological gaming behavior of 10% of adolescent gamers got worse over time.

The study, published in 2020, followed 385 teens over the period of 6 years from adolescence to early adulthood.

Gaming addiction symptoms of 10% of teens worsened throughout the years, whereas another 18% with moderate symptoms stayed the same.

The remaining 72% already had low gaming addiction symptoms that also stayed the same.

State of gaming behavior
in adolescents after 6 years
Percentage
Addiction got worse10%
Moderate addiction
stayed the same
18%
Low addiction
stayed the same
72%
(NIH 6)
  • 5% of Canadian secondary students reported having problems with excessive technology use (including gaming).

(OSDUHS)

Furthermore, 12% of Canadian students, in general, had symptoms of a video game addiction.

(OSDUHS 2)

Most Addictive Video Games

  • Rocket League is the most addictive video game, according to people’s online reviews.

14.53% of reviews claimed that the game is addictive. In contrast, only 4.28% say they feel addicted to League of Legends.

Here’s a table of the most addictive video games:

Video gamePercentage of reviews
saying a game is addictive
Rocket League14.53%
Littlewood12.50%
Demigod10.77%
Stardew Valley6.67%
League of Legends4.28%
Frostpunk3.89%
Path of Exile3.60%
My Time at Portia3.33%
Fortnite2.59%
PlanetSide 22.38%
Rainbow Six: Siege2.02%
Dota 21.68%
Animal Crossing:
New Horizons
1.58%
Elder Scrolls V:
Skyrim
1.35%
Fallout 31.28%
Counter-Strike:
Global Offensive
1.27%
Call of Duty
Black Ops III
1.22%
Smite1.16%
The Sims 40.97%
Rust0.92%
(Delamere)

A similar study also revealed that the social simulation game genre is the most addictive. Surprisingly, first-person shooters like Valorant, battle royale, and MMORPGs are among the least addictive, many Destiny 2 and World of Warcraft players would disagree.

A breakdown of the most addictive video game genres:

Video game
genre
Percentage
Social simulation5.01%
MOBA3.58%
Sports2.96%
Action role-playing1.28%
Survival1.12%
MMORPG0.82%
First-person shooter0.75%
Tactical shooter0.55%
Battle Royale0.52%
Action adventure0.35%
(Delamere)

The United States: Video Game Addiction Statistics

  • Roughly 8.5% of kids 8 to 18 years old has signs of video game addiction.

Respondents had to exhibit at least 6 out of 11 symptoms to be classified as pathological gamers and play video games at least 24 hours per week.

Iowa State University performed the survey in 2009 on 1,178 children.

(Science Daily)

United Kingdom: Video Game Addiction Statistics

  • The UK gamers aged 25-34 represent the highest share of gaming addicts in the country.

According to Delaware, that represents 147,577 individuals.

Age groups:

Age groupIndividuals of gaming
addicts in the UK
16-24129,980
25-34147,577
35-44129,134
45-54110,608
55-6471,953
(Delawere)
  • From 2020 to 2021, the UK gaming addiction clinic received 3 times more referrals.

The pandemic lockdowns forced young people to stay at home, where many decided to play video games.

(Guardian)

Read more:

Conclusion: Video Game Addiction

Most of the video game addiction statistics are based on rather small studies, meaning that the true scale of addictions remains unknown. Still, some facts are more than shocking.

Do you play video games regularly? Have you ever felt addicted to a game? To which game did you dedicate most of your time?

Share your comment below.

Sources: Newzoo, Newzoo 2, Statista, Statista 2, Statista 3, Theesa, NIH, NIH 2, NIH 3, NIH 4, NIH 5, NIH 6, VGA, Psychiatry, Psychiatry 2, PCN, HKU, ScienceDirect, ResearchGate, CNET, N World, Delamere, Mindful Gamer, Game Quitters, Datareportal, Earnest, Newport Academy, OSDUHS, OSDUHS 2, Science Daily, Guardian, Oxford

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