The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) released the 2008 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry at its "State of the Industry" E3 keynote this week, an in-depth survey which contained a few interesting (and some quite surprising) facts about gamers.

"This new data underscores the fundamental principle that computer and video games are a mainstream entertainment form, which captures the imagination of every segment of our society," said ESA CEO Michael Gallagher.

No such thing as stereotype

Some of the findings from the ESA-commissioned survey of the great American public were as follows:

* 65 percent of American households play computer and video games;
* 38 percent of American homes have a video game console;
* The average game player is 35 years old;
* One out of four gamers are over age 50;
* Women aged 18 or older represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (33 percent) than boys age 17 or younger (18 percent);
* 41 percent of Americans expect to purchase one or more games this year;
* 94 percent of parents are present when games are purchased or rented;
* 88 percent of parents report always or sometimes monitoring the games their children play;
* 63 percent of parents believe games are a positive part of their children's lives.

ESA's Michael Gallagher noted that: "No longer is there a stereotypical gamer."

He's not wrong! Head over to the ESA website to see the full study.