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Video game stats and children

Having to make informed decisions about video game playing is a reality for practically all parents these days. I just reviewed two reports by the PEW Institute … and was amazed at the statistics reported by them. Here’s a selection:

* 99% of teenage boys and 97% of teenage girls play video games (either consoles, computer or mobile based)
* average # of hours spent playing video games: 8h [source]
* 63% of teens who play games report seeing or hearing “people being mean and overly aggressive while playing,” and 49% report seeing or hearing “people being hateful, racist, or sexist” while playing
* 32% of gaming teens report play at least one game rated Mature (M) or Adults Only (AO)
* 12- to 14-year-olds are equally as likely to play M- or AO-rated games as 15- to 17-year-olds

And what about the parents … :

* 90% of parents say they always or sometimes know what games their children play
* 72% say they always or sometimes check the ratings before their children are allowed to play a game
* 62% of parents of gamers say video games have no effect (positive or negative) on their children

[check out the full report at PEW Institute]

Just like TV, gaming is a fact of life … so ignoring it or trying to block it from children is unlikely to prevent potential problems (such as abuse or exposure to adult content). So parents need to familiarise themselves with the gaming world to be able to parent effectively. The most worrying statistic in the report is the likelihood of young children (aged 14 or less) to be exposed to AO games. But even games not labelled M or AO may contain content that parents don’t want their children to see. Ultimately, the only way to really know whether a game is appropriate or not is to play it! Checking games before children play with them is certainly a good idea and so is playing the game with them. Gaming is no different from many other activities parents do with their children – the more time parents spent actively engaged in the activity, the more beneficial for the children.


One Response to Video game stats and children

  1. Pet says:

    Great info!

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