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Gamers in India are playing close to 9 hours every week

The State of Online Gaming 2021 report says binge gaming is rising around the world as people spend more time indoors

As binge playing increased significantly, social lives moved to gaming platforms for many people. (MINT_PRINT)

A new report, which looks at global gaming preferences and habits, shows how binge gaming is on the rise and Indians are spending close to 9 hours every week in front of their consoles and smartphone screens.

The ‘State of Online Gaming 2021’ report, released earlier this week by the US-based premier content delivery network service provider Limelight Networks, explains how much has changed in the past year: as binge playing increased significantly, social lives moved to gaming platforms for many people. The report is based on 4,000 survey responses collected from gamers above the age of 18 in China, Germany, India, Indonesia, South Korea, the UK, US and Vietnam earlier this year.

Globally, the average number of hours gamers play each week jumped 14% in the past year to an average of eight and a half hours. According to the report, gamers in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region played video games consecutively for four hours and 49 minutes. Young gamers aged 18 to 25 have binge-gamed the longest -- at an average of nearly five hours. Particularly in India, gamers spend an average of 8.61 hours playing every week, findings from the report show. Gamers in China spend the most time playing: an average of over 12 hours a week. South Korea had the lowest weekly average at 5.88 hours.

The findings also show how gaming has become a deeply ingrained activity for users from different demographics. Globally, gamers in the age group of 36-45 spend the most time playing: at 9.3 hours a week. Those in the age group between 46-60 spend the least: 7.9 hours of play time. These numbers are up significantly over 2020, by 15% and 20% respectively, the report adds.

Last year, covid-19 lockdowns around the world forced people to remain indoors, and while some workplaces have opened again, work from home continues to be the norm for many. One of the interesting findings shows how users are missing their usual daily activities due to these gaming sessions. Globally, on an average, 47.3% users are compromising on their sleep to play more video games. In India, this number is close to 50%.

While smartphones are still preferred over computers, gaming consoles and tablets, when it comes to choosing a primary gaming device, the findings explain, consoles and computers have the highest usage in India more than any other region. Indians are still hooked to casual single-player games (93.8%) such as Candy Crush Saga and Clash of Clans, but their interest levels in first-person shooter or FPS games such as Call of Duty remain high (89.8%), the report adds.

Overall, the situations created by the pandemic and the ensuing events had a big hand in this spike in gaming. Close to 53% of the respondents made new friends through online gaming – a sentiment that was reflected in another finding: which aspects of gaming were most appealing? Around 36% responded that interaction with other players was key.

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