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New Research: Nearly All Teens Play Video Games

Mike Musgrove

Well, it's official, I guess: Nearly all teens play video games.

No, seriously. A recent study, conducted Pew Internet & American Life Project, has found that 99 percent of boys and 94 percent of girls play video games on a regular basis. Half of the 1,102 kids, ages 12 to 17, polled had played one within the last 24 hours.

The video game industry often sings the praises of its ratings system, designed to steer kids away from inappropriate content. But, eek, half the boys surveyed listed a game rated by the industry's system as "mature" as one of their favorites.

So, is gaming a social or anti-social activity? Looks like the answer is: Both. Or, neither. Some 76 percent of gaming teens play games with others at least some of the time; on the other hand, 82 percent play games alone at least occasionally, according to the recently-published study, an initiative of
the Pew Research Center; more findings about the video game survey is available here.

By Mike Musgrove  |  September 17, 2008; 4:05 PM ET  | Category:  CES 2008 , Mike Musgrove
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While I agree that there are lots of kids who play video games regularly, 1102 kids is a very small sample size, in my opinion. It's for that reason that I don't believe these statistics.

Posted by: Cal | September 17, 2008 5:35 PM

I believe it, as for the eek with regards to mature games, that's like being shocked that the same age group doesn't like children's movies. Mature doesn't always mean senseless blood and gore, most of the mature games I've played are tame compared to r rated movies.

Posted by: Samuel | September 17, 2008 6:33 PM

I, too, believe the sample size is a tad insufficient. Even more so, Pew/Internet report makes no note of where they got the said sample from. It's an interesting read, but remain highly skeptical...

Posted by: Kaftan | September 17, 2008 6:58 PM

I'm surprised by the comments about the sample size. Any Statistics 101 class will teach you that the sample size in this case was more than sufficient. Moreover, Pew is one of the most reputable organizations of its kind.

Posted by: Josh | September 17, 2008 8:16 PM

I have to agree with Samuel, as the game listed as Mature is Halo 3. While, it is a violent shooting game, the blood and gore IS extremely tame when compared to R rated movies, which is the supposedly equivalent of a Mature rated game. I would venture to say Halo may even be tamer then some PG13 movies overall, but it's rated higher because there's blood. The rating system in place DOES work, the problem is parents are buying their children whatever game they want, and don't monitor it, as is, I believe the next generation of gamers that will come along, will be a wholly different story. I was one of those kids who played violent games, but I also read an amazing amount of books that were considered far to old for me, yet there was no outcry against me reading. Regardless, having a child of my own, and still be involved in gaming myself, I will be ignorant of the games as the parental generation before mine was, and will know which games are appropriate not based on any regulated system, but based on my own child's maturity.

Posted by: Mel | September 17, 2008 8:19 PM

Apparently there were some missed words as I was speeding through that...That should be "being involved" and "I will *NOT* be ignorant of the games"

Posted by: Mel | September 17, 2008 8:20 PM

I laugh every time I see a headline about this. It's kind of like seeing: 'New Study Shows Most Couples Are Sexually Active'.

You don't say.

Posted by: Kyle | September 17, 2008 10:40 PM

There is nothing new or useful about this. Just have a look at the hundreds of gaming boards out there and you will know. In this age where girls get pregnant at 13 or 14, and teen celebrities glamorising sex, it is not surprising to hear they play mature games.

Posted by: Kris | September 17, 2008 11:08 PM

The author of this article totally missed the point of the Pew finding; it's everything but obvious that most teenagers play video games, but the research focuses primarily on the social and civic benefits.

Posted by: QB | September 18, 2008 12:19 AM

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