The global perspective on video games has changed dramatically in recent years.
Gaming competitions have evolved from community tournaments in small rooms to massive spectacles with more prize money than the Masters or Super Bowl.
More people are playing video games than ever before, with the majority of gamers older than 18.
The Entertainment Software Association recently released its Essential Facts about the Computer and Video Game Industry for 2017.
The study focussed on households across the US, measuring multiple facets of the video game industry.
Video games have continued to grow in popularity, with 65% of US households home to at least one person who plays over three hours of games per week.
97% of surveyed households owned a personal computer, and 48% owned a dedicated gaming console.
According to the study, the average gamer is 35 years old, and there are more female gamers over the age of 18 than male gamers who are under the age of 18.
54% of gamers surveyed said video games provided better value for money than movies, music, and DVDs.
Digital sales have grown rapidly and gained an additional 5% share of video game sales since 2016.
Only 26% of video games are now sold in a physical format.
Video games are a massive industry which has continued to grow year after year, with the total consumer spend in 2016 reaching $30.4 billion.
According to the 2017 Global Esports Market Report published by Newzoo, eSports revenues will reach $696 million this year and grow to $1.5 billion by 2020.
The study said the global audience for competitive gaming will reach 385 million in 2017, which consists of 191 million enthusiasts and 194 million occasional viewers.
Global interest and investment in competitive gaming continues to grow, and this is reflected even in smaller gaming countries, like South Africa.
In 2016, the Digital Masters League offered a record R1-million prize pool to local gamers for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2 matches.
Fans of competitive gaming can also watch tournaments using a number of free services, such as Twitch and YouTube.
This accessibility and the growing video game industry has made gaming into a billion-dollar machine – which will continue to grow.