Recent research shows that Great Britain has more online and console gamers than any other territory in Europe.
The 2009 UK National Gamers Survey, carried out by TNS and Gamesindustry.com reports that 73 per cent of participants enjoy playing games on a regular basis.
Young men between the ages of 13 and 19 claimed to spend an average of 11 hours per week playing games, while boys as young as eight years old admitted to spending seven and half hours per week gaming.
Traditionally smaller demographics also reported high numbers of active gamers, with 86 per cent of girls admitting to playing games. Additionally, 42 per cent of people over the age of 50 claimed they spend more time playing games than reading magazines.
British gamers are also the more likely to pay for new games than their European brethren. Only 4 per cent of participants confessed to playing illegal copies of console games, compared to 10 per cent of gamers in the Netherlands.
Gaming has rapidly expanded in popularity and now appeals to as wide an audience as TV and the internet,” said TNS Technology's group director Stephen Palmer.
In several cases, young and old are ever moving away from traditional media and spend their free time playing games instead. The variety of games on offer has drawn in segments of the population that would not ordinarily be associated with gaming.”