This Is How Much Playing Video Games Will Cost You Over Your Lifetime

Gamer playing computer game stock photo
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Gaming was already phenomenally popular — then the COVID-19 lockdowns arrived, and interest in all things digital swelled. The momentum around gaming hasn’t died down and is only expected to increase. According to PwC’s Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2022-26, the global gaming sector will be worth $321 billion by 2026.

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Clearly a lot of people are playing videogames — and it isn’t a cheap hobby.

Millennial Gamers Spend the Most Money

A recent survey by All Home Connections found that the average gamer spends about $76 a month on their hobby, or $912 a year. The average life expectancy is 78.79 years, and assuming that gamers started gaming at the age of 12, that amounts to $60,912.48 over a lifetime.

Millennials as a cohort spend even more than the average gamer overall: $86 per month, or $1,032 a year. If an average millennial started gaming when they were 12 and lives to be 78.79 years old, they’ll have spent $68,927.28 on their passion for gaming. Gen X spends a pretty penny too: $62 a month ($744 a year) and $49.691.76 over a lifetime, assuming they also started gaming at age 12. Unsurprisingly, baby boomers — whose childhoods weren’t necessarily filled with gaming consoles — spend the least: $52 a month (or $624 a year) on gaming.

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All eyes are on Gen Z, a generation that was born into the digital era — one where gaming is practically omnipresent. So far, according to the survey, the average Gen Z gamer spends $80 monthly, or $960 yearly. Could that number rise further? If the gaming industry continues to explode as predicted, related expenditures will almost certainly climb.

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About the Author

Nicole Spector is a writer, editor, and author based in Los Angeles by way of Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Vogue, the Atlantic, Vice, and The New Yorker. She's a frequent contributor to NBC News and Publishers Weekly. Her 2013 debut novel, "Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray" received laudatory blurbs from the likes of Fred Armisen and Ken Kalfus, and was published in the US, UK, France, and Russia — though nobody knows whatever happened with the Russian edition! She has an affinity for Twitter.
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