A goodly number of us enjoy a little bit of video gaming in our lives.  Hopefully the majority of us do it in moderation and go out and enjoy the world around us, but it seems that a few people take it just a tad bit further than most.

NPD released its Gamer Segmentation 2010 report, and while it shows increases in just about every aspect of gaming, it’s the number of hours that “extreme gamers”, as the report labels them, play games that is making everyone go slack jawed.  According to NPD, the most extreme game players make up eight percent of the 18,872 people it polled in Jan., and those people earned that label by the fact they play games an average of 48.5 hours a week.

leeroyIn other words, 8.5 hours more than your average job.

The thing is, you can’t mark this up to youthfulness as the average age of gamers increased from 31 to 32-years-old this year, and PC gamers of both the online and off-line varieties averaged out at 42-years-old.

I certainly don’t want anyone to take this as my condemning these extreme gamers, I am just more in complete befuddlement.  They have to also be earning money somehow as console games rose nine percent in sales over the previous year, and PC games rose by six percent.  So, add on a job on top of their gaming,  and remembering that there 168 hours in a week, they aren’t being left time to do a whole of other things during their week.

Beyond that information, the thing I found the most interesting was that the sales data showed that portable gaming sales fell by 16 percent over the previous year.  Did this number include the casual mobile gamers on mobile devices such as phones and tablets, or did it only account for sales for systems such as the Nintendo DS?

Anyway you slice it, gaming is continuing to grow, and the players are getting old, so the next time some kid on Modern Warfare 2 complains about how an old person is playing, just tell them to look up this NPD report … and make yourself sound even more like an older stick in the mud.

What say you?  How are people spending this much time gaming?