The survey, released Tuesday, combined the telephone responses from a nationally representative sample of 1,102 young people, ages 12 to 17, and their parents. Performed from November 2007 through February of this year, and partly funded by the MacArthur Foundation, it had a margin of error of three percentage points.
Among other things, the survey found that:
—Ninety-seven percent of young respondents play video games. That's 99 percent of boys and 94 percent of girls, with little difference in the percentages among various racial and ethnic groups and incomes. In fact, 7 percent of those surveyed said they didn't have a computer at home, but did have a game console, such as Sony Corp.'s PlayStation, Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox or Nintendo Co.'s Wii.
—They play often. When surveyed, half of the respondents said they had played a video game the previous day.
—Their games of choice are as diverse as their tastes in music or TV. Eighty percent of respondents play five or more different game genres, with racing, puzzles, sports and action the most common. Favorites were "Guitar Hero," "Halo 3," "Madden NFL," solitaire and "Dance Dance Revolution."
Poor Ben thinks he's very badly treated because video games are banned in this household.
Ben has a tendency towards electronic media addiction. My cure for it is to not have it on hand. Our television set is in the master bedroom so it is out of sight and out of mind for him. If I let him, he'd watch videos all day long. I ended up telling him that he has to earn video minutes with reading minutes.
Right now his dearest desire is to own a hand held video game thingy. I think though that he's coming to the realization that he is not going to own one any time soon.
One day he'll thank me for reading Jane Healey's book, "Failure to Connect", but for now he thinks he's very hard done by because of our family stance on electronic media.