According to a report issued by the NPD Group, 63% of the subjects stated that they play video games (console and portable games, PC games, games on devices like cell phones or iPods and so on). 30% said that they are spending more time gaming this year than last year, nearly 30 percent were spending less time and 40% spending the same amount of time as they did in 2006.

Interesting enough, the majority of gamers see the activity as a way to alleviate stress and to help them unwind.

The new type of game experiences brought to the market over the past several years are succeeding in reaching a broader audience. The challenge for the industry is that consumers are a fickle group, and with the great variety of options pulling at their limited free time, they’re going to be easily distracted unless something really compels them to stay with gaming," said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group. "To reach these less involved consumers, the industry has to work even harder, but doing so can produce great rewards."

NPD’s report was based on an online survey fielded from October 11 – 18. The survey included 5,039 respondents of NPD’s online consumer panel.