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Video Gaming Survey Suggests Binge Sessions, Interest in Streaming Options on the Rise

PlayStation 4 LargeResults from a new video game study suggest most gamers have played for more than four straight hours at least once, and many younger respondents would rather game than watch TV or a movie. The survey, conducted by Limelight Networks, leverages input from 4,500 respondents in nine countries to offer a glimpse into the habits and opinions of a wide variety of gamers.

The findings, compiled in a report called The State of Online Gaming 2020, reveal playing video games remains a popular activity across age groups. Overall gaming hours per week tends to peak in the 26-35 age range (at 7.5 hours per week), before steadily declining. Still, respondents 60 and older clocked in an average of 4.7 hours each week.

And what is everyone playing? Casual games like Candy Crush or Angry Birds and first-person shooters like Call of Duty and Halo remain in first and second place, respectively. Breaking down the results by age, however, shows younger gamers tend to prefer first-person shooters and battle royale games like Fortnite over more casual titles.

Regardless of game type, a majority of respondents said they missed out on some sleep due to playing a game, and nearly 12 percent said they’ve missed work. Meanwhile, 22.3 percent reported skipping a shower at some point, while nearly a third said they missed a meal.

One emerging trend, according the report, involves “console-less” gaming, like Google’s Stadia, which streams high-end video games to tablets, laptops, phones, and streaming devices like the Chromecast Ultra. Forty-four percent of those surveyed said they’re at least interested in game streaming services like Stadia, with price and performance being their main concern.

And while downloadable games continue to eat away at physical media sales, a whopping 87 percent of gamers reported frustration with process of downloading a game, with most complaining that it takes too long. For instance, downloading Call of Duty: Modern Warfare alongside its new Warzone battle royale mode can result in a download surpassing 100GB, meaning gamers, especially in rural areas, could be in for a long wait.

Major esports tournaments continue to be popular among gamers, while respondents reported watching fewer hours of traditional sports both online and on TV compared to last year. Time spent watching others play games online, via Twitch, YouTube, and other services, also dropped from 2019, but still accounted for 2.29 hours per week.

Overall The State of Online Gaming 2020 reveals a diverse group of people all linked by their interest in gaming. Some play for fun. Others aspire to be professional competitors. Many enjoy watching video streams of others playing games. And most have been frustrated by downloading a game.

Oh, and a third of us have snuck in some gaming while at work. For shame.

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