A new survey from Pew Internet & American Life Project has shown just how deeply gaming has infiltrated North American life – with the results suggesting that 97 per cent of 12 to 17 year olds are active gamers.
The results were fairly consistent amongst various ethnic groups, and even more interestingly showed very little gender difference – 99 per cent of boys and 94 per cent of girls play games.
It also suggests that most kids are very regular gamers – half of respondents claimed to have played a video games just a day previously. Tastes are also said to vary, with most claiming to like multiple genres, though common favourites included Guitar Hero, Halo 3, Madden and Dance Dance Revolution.
Worryingly, the survey also found that young people are easily able to access M (mature) or AO (adults only) rated games. Half of the boys questioned named an adult rated game amongst their favourites, though only 14 per cent of girls did the same.
Still, the report added that despite these worrying findings it did not feel it would be sensible to make moves to label games as simply good or bad – Halo, it points out, despite being a violent game offered more than average opportunities for players to help one another”.
Social and multiplayer gaming was also shown to be a strong favourite, with two thirds of kids playing games as a way of mixing with family and friends. It shows that gamers are social people," Pew's senior researcher Amanda Lenhart stated. They communicate just as much. They spend time face-to-face, just as much as other kids. They e-mail and text.”
The survey spoke to a nationally representative sample of 1,102 12 to 17 year olds and their parents.