TAMPA (BLOOM) – The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has unveiled eye-opening statistics from a recent survey indicating a strong preference among American children for video game-related gifts this holiday season.

The survey, conducted with U.S. adults and children aged 10-17, reveals that 72% of kids are likely to request video game gifts, surpassing other popular choices like money/gift cards (70%), clothes/accessories (66%), and electronics/tech items (62%). Interestingly, traditional physical toys and games (38%), tickets and experiences (32%), arts and crafts (28%), and books (26%) are less favored in comparison.

A notable divide is observed in the gaming preferences of girls and boys. While 59% of girls express an interest in video game gifts, this number jumps to 86% among boys. The most sought-after items include game subscriptions (39%), game consoles (38%), game gear/accessories (32%), in-game currency (29%), and physical video games (22%). On the adult front, around 32% plan to purchase video game gifts, with this number increasing to 57% among parents, averaging an expenditure of $485 on these gifts.

Stan Pierre-Louis, President and CEO of ESA, commented on these findings, “With over 212 million Americans regularly playing video games, it’s no surprise that these are at the top of wish lists. Video games serve as an excellent tool for families to bond and connect, not just during the holiday season but year-round.”

Given these trends, ESA emphasizes the importance of responsible gaming, especially for parents buying video game items for their children. The organization advises parents to:

  1. Check ESRB Ratings: Understand the age and content rating by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), which includes rating categories, content descriptors, and interactive elements. These ratings are crucial in determining the suitability of games for children.
  2. Utilize Parental Controls: Modern gaming devices offer comprehensive parental controls. These include filtering games by ESRB rating, managing playtime, controlling spending, limiting communication with other players, and setting up PIN/password protections.
  3. Promote Responsible Online Behavior: Encourage family discussions around responsible gaming, such as time limits, appropriate game types, spending habits, and online interactions. These conversations are vital in fostering a safe and enjoyable gaming environment.

For more detailed guidance on nurturing a healthy gaming atmosphere at home, ESA recommends visiting their Family Gaming Guide and following the ESRB blog. The ESA continues to advocate for the U.S. video game industry, highlighting the positive impacts of video games on society and the economy.

About the Survey: The survey was conducted by Ipsos between September 20 and October 6, 2023, for ESA. It included a nationally representative sample of 500 adults and 501 children aged 10-17 from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii. The credibility interval for the survey is ±5.4 percentage points for both adults and children.

This survey sheds light on the evolving preferences of the younger generation and underscores the growing significance of video games in modern culture. As the holiday season approaches, these insights will undoubtedly influence the gift choices of many families across the U.S.