Gamers have spent the equivalent of 78 days playing video games over the past 18 months

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A study of 2,000 adults who regularly game found 39 per cent spent more time gaming during the last year and a half – playing an estimated 40 per cent more in a typical week than pre-pandemic.

An average of 17 hours and 48 minutes was spent by individuals on their console between Monday and Friday during the average week.

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While weekends accounted for another six hours and 52 minutes – a total of more than 24 hours a week.

But despite the increase in gaming, 48 per cent like to stick to the same games, with the average gamer rotating through just three of their favourite titles.

The main reason for sticking to their beloved titles is because they know they will enjoy them, although 18 per cent struggle to find inspiration when seeking something new to dive into.

It also emerged the most popular titles over the last 18 months have included Grand Theft Auto V, FIFA 21 and Call of Duty: Warzone.

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Animal Crossing and Among Us were also among the top 10 games which have gripped gamers in the past year or so.

And still going strong after it captured the world’s attention in 2016 is mobile game Pokémon Go, with one in five (20 per cent) trying to catch them all during their regular walks.

The research was commissioned by SIM-only mobile network SMARTY to mark the launch of its Date The Game (Not the Player) pop-up bar, a new event to help gamers discover their next adventure.

Sayed Hajamaideen, at SMARTY Mobile, said: “When we were stuck in our homes it was understandable that so many of us turned to video games to pass the time and dusted off some old favourites.

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“With such an immersive selection of games available, whether it’s on a console, PC or our phones, the choice of what to play can be overwhelming – so it is no surprise that so many stuck to what they know and love.”

Experiencing new games

The study also found that throughout the last 18 months, a third did branch out to experience new games, with 85 per cent of these discovering some titles even stacked up against their old favourites.

On average, these gamers completed five different games from start to finish during the increased time spent at home.

And 31 per cent even claim that playing games online helped them stay in touch with people over the last 18 months.

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However, more than half (56 per cent) keep going back to their old favourites out of familiarity, while 22 per cent even felt stuck in a rut when it comes to the game they play.

Taking inspiration from friends

Despite a wealth of content about new games being available, almost half (47 per cent) still consider their friends as their most reliable source of what to play next.

In fact, a quarter (25 per cent) of those polled via OnePoll are seeking inspiration from

the next generations of gamers by asking their children for advice.

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Sayed added: “We’re excited to be helping the nation relish the joy of discovering new things; whether it’s a thrilling new game or a great value mobile phone plan.

“We hope visitors to Date the Game reignite the joy of discovery and find their next gaming obsession.”

SMARTY’s Date The Game (Not the Player) pop-up bar will be open for one day on the 4th November at Platform Gaming Bar, Worship St, London.


1. Grand Theft Auto V

2. FIFA 21

3. Call of Duty: Warzone

4. Mario Kart 8

5. Minecraft

6. Fortnite

7. Pokémon Go

8. Red Dead Redemption II

9. Animal Crossing: New Horizons

10. Among Us

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