A gamer is a hobbyist who plays interactive games like video games, tabletop role-playing games or skill-based card games. They play for usually long periods of time and have a passion for their chosen game. They spend countless hours playing, studying the gameplays of top players and pushing themselves to be better at their game.

In the United States, 45% of adults 50 and over say they spend time gaming every day. That’s more than the average time spent on TV or social media. The AARP research also shows that a significant percentage of gamers are women (36%) and those who identify as Black (27%).

There are a variety of reasons why people in the United States play games, with three out of five American gamers saying they do it to relax or unwind. Other motivations include escaping the everyday world, competing with others or simply filling time.

For many gamers, the social aspect of games is important. They enjoy the interaction with other players and often make lifelong friends with those they game with. This is particularly true for those who play massively multiplayer online games (MMOs). Gamers can interact with thousands of other players at the same time in a shared virtual world and develop strong friendships and rivalries.

When it comes to competitive games, the majority of gamers are men (55%). However, a growing number of women and people from minority groups are getting involved in esports, the popular form of professional gaming.

As a group, gamers are highly optimistic about the future of gaming. In fact, 71% of gamers believe that video games will become an even more important form of entertainment in the future. That’s more than twice as many as the 23% who are skeptical about the future of gaming.

When it comes to societal issues related to gaming, a majority of American gamers are concerned that video games portray minorities and women negatively. In addition, 37% of Americans are unsure if most games promote teamwork and communication.