Tuesday, September 16, 2008

97% of children play video games.

Ben had better never read about this study about the video gaming habits of children.
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.


Lostcheerio said...

Fortunately for Ben, his mother spends a lot of time devising interesting, engaging things for him to do that do not involve rectangular screens. :)

We're fairly big on the rectangular screens around here, but I'd be a pretty big hypocrit if I didn't let the kids play video games when I'm such a big fan myself!

Lostcheerio said...

I just misspelled hypocrite. Does this make me a hypocrite for making Benny write "relevant" and "alliteration" four times each today? Or maybe a hypocrit?

amanda bel said...

Max is the same way. We haven't unpacked the video games since we moved, and we don't plan to any time soon. He just gets too addicted to them. I truly wish he could be satisfied with a little game-time here and there, but that does NOT work for him. It's all or nothing. Fortunately, like you said, the out-of-sight out-of-mind works pretty well (so far!)

aksunshinedaydream said...

I wonder what kind of questions they asked the kids? If someone asked my children if they PLAY video games, they would say yes; yet, we don't OWN any video games. They'd also say that guitar hero is their favorite game and they would probably sound like experts, but the only time they played it was over a weekend at a cousin's house back in July...:)

Julian gets addicted to electronic things, too, which is why I won't own a game console. I inherited a playstation from my sister's belongings and I sold it on eBay. Then Dan's sister offered us a different one (gamecube?) and was rather shocked when we thanked her but declined! lol!