When we think of video games there are a few things that come to mind, but none of these things usually covers the economic impact. In fact when we consider brand new games launching, the levels of violence in video games, the censorship and availability of some age-sensitive games and features, the levels of physical inactivity associated with video games and much more, the economy is usually the furthest thing from our minds.

No matter whether you’re a gamer or strongly oppose the idea of video games from a health and wellbeing point of view, you can’t argue with the statistics that say there’s at least one benefit of popular video games.

The trend towards video games being available to the masses on a range of consoles actually does wonders for the economy. Figures from the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) at the end of 2014 showed that the videogame industry contributed $6.2 billion to the economy in the United States alone. That’s literal billions to one country’s economy in a single year, from an industry that isn’t even seen as an essential, like food, housing or utilities.

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If that figure isn’t impressive enough then consider this: the videogame industry in the USA has outperformed the economy over the last 4 years. That means that as the US economy only grew slightly year on year between 2009 and 2012, at a rate of a modest 2.4%, the videogame industry grew by 9% in the same time period. With such a fast growth rate, it’s easy to see how this form of entertainment actually contributes a lot to the economy.

They asked several people, among others was the founder of some online gambling sites like Jackpotjane bingo which he said “gaming is certainly the future of e-commerce. Whether its video games with an online link, like X-box Live, or mobile bingo games from a top gambling brand, gaming online has proven to be a vital player in the economy of not just the USA, but also the UK and European countries in which videogames and gambling has also proven popular.”

He has a point when we think about it as many people now own things like smartphones where they are free to play many types of games online from their pockets, wherever they are and whenever they feel like it. Add this to the fact that console creators have become more competitive, meaning that console prices have come down and game prices have not risen too much with inflation, and you have a recipe for an affordable hobby for many boys, girls, men and women of pretty much all ages.