Colorado has the lead in game-focused nation
The amount of time Americans spend playing video games and board games has risen by 50 percent since 2003, according to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The typical American now spends more time playing games than volunteering, going to social events or going to church.
The numbers come from the American Time Use Survey, a nationally representative annual study that asks respondents to recount, in minute-by-minute detail, how they spent the previous day.
Colorado leads the nation on the percentage of residents (13.4) who play games on a typical day,
On the average day in 2016, the average American age 15 or older spent about 15 minutes playing games, up from 10 minutes in 2003, according to the survey.
If you exclude people who played
Hawaiians on island of their own in least play time
The American Time Use Survey details where people play games the most. Colorado leads the nation on the percentage of residents (13.4) who play games on a typical day, followed by Minnesota (13.2), Kansas (11.6), New Hampshire (11.6) and Rhode Island (11.2). On the flip side, in Hawaii only 3.1 percent of residents play games on a typical day, making it the least gaming-addicted state in the nation (this makes some sense — when you live in an island paradise, who needs to sit in front of a screen?). Hawaii is followed by New Mexico (4.9), Georgia (5.7), Mississippi (6.0) and South Carolina (6.1). no games at all, the typical gamer spent over two hours per day playing games in 2016.
That number is little changed since 2003, which means that the increase in average gaming time overall is due primarily to a surge in the number of gamers.
In 2003, less than 8 percent of the population played games on a typical day. By 2016, that number had shot up to over 11 percent, according to the survey data.
The American Time Use Survey doesn’t distinguish between board games, such as Scrabble, and video games, such as “Zelda” or “Overwatch.” So it’s impossible to know with certainty how much of the increase is driven by playing video games alone.
There has been a great deal of focus on the rise of gaming time among young, unemployed men, thanks to a recent working paper by researchers at Princeton, the University of Chicago and the University of Rochester.
But the American Time Use Survey data show that the increase in gaming hasn’t been limited to just young men.
Indeed, there has been a larger increase in gaming time among women (58 percent) than among men (50 percent) since 2003.
Today, similar percentages of men (12.3) and women (10.3) play games on a typical day.
Since there are only 24 hours in a day, any increase in gaming time has to be offset by a decrease in time spent on other things. While the survey numbers can’t pinpoint this with certainty, they do show that since 2003 there have been substantial drops in a number of other leisure activities that game playing might take the place of, including socializing (seven-minute daily decrease since 2003), reading (four-minute decrease), and arts and entertainment, excluding TV (two-minute decrease).
Americans’ total leisure time is unchanged since 2003.