Video Game Addiction: 81% of American Youth Play; 8.5% are Addicted

Reports from around the world suggest that gaming addiction is real and on the rise. With nearly 8 in 10 American youth (81%) playing video games at least one time per month, including 94% of all boys playing, this certainly raises concerns about video game addiction. 

In US, 8.5% of youth gamers (ages 8 to 18) can be classified as pathological or clinically “addicted” to playing video games. Most youth play video games and many feel that they may be playing too much, according to an Harris Interactive survey. 


  • 23% of youth say they that have felt “addicted to video games”, with about one-third of males (31%) and a little more than one in ten females (13%) feeling ”addicted.” 

  • 44% of youth also report that their friends are addicted to games. 


Video game playing time differs by age as well as gender. 


  • The average 8- to 12 year-old now plays 13 hours of video games per week, while the average 13- to 18 year old plays 14 hours of video games per week.  

  • Tween (those ages 8 to 12) and teen boys average 16 hours and 18 hours per week, respectively. Tween girls average 10 hours per week and teen girls average 8 hours per week.  


Time matters because 8- to 18-year-olds who spend more time playing video games are more likely to perform more poorly in school, get into physical fights and/or be physically heavier. Gamers who were surveyed and classified as pathological were receiving lower grades in schools than their peers, were more likely to have video game systems in their bedrooms (65%), were spending much more time playing games each week (averaging 24.5 hours per week), and were also more likely to have been diagnosed with an attention deficit problem.


These are just some of the results of a new survey of 1,178 U.S. children and teenagers (ages 8 to 18) conducted online by Harris Interactive® between January 17 to 23, 2007. This study is the first to document a national prevalence rate of pathological video game use among youth.



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