NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Did you know two-thirds of Americans play video games regularly? The latest gaming industry report revealed roughly 215.5 million Americans play video games.

The report is commissioned by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and showcases a world where people of all ages, races, genders and backgrounds game.

“The video game industry has really blossomed over the past 40-plus years, from the games we played at home, like Pong and Atari, and then the arcades, to now these lush storylines on photorealistic screens,” said Stanley Pierre-Louis, the President and CEO of ESA.

Pierre-Louis said those leading the pack in play aren’t teenagers. “There are more people 45 and older playing than under 18.”

According to the report, the average age of a video game player is 33. The majority of those who play are male but not by much.

“48% of gamers are women, which we found to be a growing and steady number,” he said.

The most popular reason adults give for gaming – it brings them joy.

“They might come in for the nostalgia. They might stay a little bit longer for the visuals and the sound effects and the great storylines, but they’re going to really stay because they’re part of a community,” he explained.

Connection was especially key during the COVID-19 pandemic’s peak.

Those polled expressed overwhelming affirmation for the friendships and relationships they developed through group play.

“There’s nothing more we want today than really feel like we belong,” Pierre-Louis said.

A majority foster that finding. 92% of players ages 18 to 34 play with others. 89% for those ages 35 to 44. And, 56% for those 65 and older.

“The AARP, for example, reports that the most popular page on their website is their video game site,” he pointed out.

Linking people from around the world in gaming brings purpose and pleasure.

“97% of Americans, whether they play games or not found that video games can really add benefits to our lives. And it really showcases where games are today in the American mind and in the American heart that people view it as a force for good,” he said.