European gamers spend as much time playing videogames as they do watching TV or hanging out with family and friends, claims a new Nielsen report.

The Video Gamers In Europe 2008 report is based on survey results from  6000 Europeans aged 16-49 from the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Benelux, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Czech Republic, Poland and Latvia.

Interesting reading

The reports findings are hardly unsurprising, but make for interesting reading nonetheless. Over a third of the UK’s population define themselves as ‘active gamers’ and 40 percent of the respondents play videogames between 6-14 hours per week, alongside time spent watching TV, surfing the Internet or visiting friends and family.

72 percent of those surveyed said that they played videogames for fun (no, we’re not sure why the other 28 percent play them either…), 57 percent said used games a way of stimulating the imagination with 45 percent claiming that gaming made them think.

Recognised place in culture

“Our research findings cement what those who work in the industry understand as a given, namely that videogames hold a recognized place in today’s entertainment culture,” said Jens Uwe Intat, chairman of the ISFE board.

“The people that are videogaming today are of all ages, of both genders and of all nationalities. As an industry, we offer a huge variety of entertainment choices for all tastes and skill levels, and adult tax payers, grandparents and kids alike are playing in the way that suits them best.”

For the full report check out www.isfe.eu