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Videogaming Most Popular Activity Among Kids

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the and-why-not dept.

Education 49

njkid1 writes "Research from the NPD Group shows that kids are increasingly playing games earlier in life. Playing games, whether on a PC, console, phone or music player, was the highest ranked activity for kids in a survey conducted by the organization. From the article: 'NPD said it used an online survey sent to a 'nationally representative' sample of mothers with children ages 2 to 14 in their households. The survey revealed that an overwhelming majority (93 percent) of kids play games on a computer, cell phone, video game console or portable or digital music player. This was way ahead of the second highest activity reported, listening to music, which garnered 52 percent.'"

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Game Music (2, Funny)

Prysorra (1040518) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672686)

I'm glad someone is beating Jay-Z over the battle for our children's souls!

Re:Game Music (3, Insightful)

Kardall (886095) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672728)

I was thinking more along the lines of Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears... oh wait they're in a video game...

At least with Guitar Hero there's a little bit of an insert of rock music into a mainstream to impress young minds with. Nothing like nose-bleeding rock and roll to battle the onslaught of Snoop Dogg and Eminem. Lets vote NO for brainwashing!

Re:Game Music (2, Insightful)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673040)

I'd be happy to settle for someone beating Jay-Z.

Re:Game Music (1)

OECD (639690) | more than 7 years ago | (#17674574)

You do realize Jay-Z is just a bit of a nerd himself, don't you? Take a listen to "Kingdom Come" whilst perusing the comic series of the same name.

Re:Game Music (2, Funny)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#17674772)

He can wear Spock ears all day for all I care, I still want him beaten with mallets.

Re:Game Music (1)

vaksion (1024195) | more than 7 years ago | (#17674572)

Good pointe.

Re:Game Music (1)

quotato (1042964) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675286)

What kind of music is being played with the game? Of course this survey does not include the multi-tasking factor. Music is embedded in the video game as many gamers also have another track of music playing on another device. Is not Guitar Hero a pop game? I agree with the fact that most songs now-a-days just plain suck....

The fact that kids play videogames is not news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17672714)

What amazed me is that 48% of kids apparently don't listen to music.

I think there's something wrong with the study, or else 48% of mothers don't know what their kid is up to, but they bought them a PS3 so they must be playing videogames.

Re:The fact that kids play videogames is not news (4, Insightful)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672980)

What amazed me is that 48% of kids apparently don't listen to music.

I think there's something wrong with the study, or else 48% of mothers don't know what their kid is up to, but they bought them a PS3 so they must be playing videogames.


What you have to remember is this study is for children between the ages of 2 and 14 ...

If you have access to children (either being an Uncle/Aunt or parent) you'll notice that a lot of younger children (up to 9 or 10) do not actively listen to music; they may listen to it in the car but they are unlikely to sit quietly/play and listen to music at the same time. In the Tween/Teen years many children's interest in music explodes.

Music... (3, Funny)

Achoi77 (669484) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672824)

This was way ahead of the second highest activity reported, listening to music, which garnered 52 percent.'"

shouldn't have mentioned that, now the RIAA will have plans to go after us gamers who don't buy their crappy music at all :-(

News at 11 (5, Insightful)

Xiver (13712) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672914)

So... 93% of children with mothers that complete online surveys video play games. I would guess that mothers that complete online surveys might be more skewed to have children that play video games than mothers who don't have computers. What do you guys think?

Re:News at 11 (1)

3on3 (1007539) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675654)

good point:)

if this was boys (1)

nude-fox (981081) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672928)

the number one activity would be playing with themselves

kids play games (4, Insightful)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#17672950)

and when they can't hang out and play ball in the street or go to the playground without a goddamned armed escort, it doesn't take a rocket surgeon to tell you that video games would pick up the slack.

So their parents think (1)

hypermanng (155858) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673904)

I remember when I was a kid in the 80s, I thought it was so weird how some parents wouldn't let their kids go anywhere because they wre convinced predators, gangs and so on were all over the place. This was a quiet little town in the Pacific Northwest.

It's not that kids can't go to the playground because they need to be protected - it's that parents' interaction with their children's world occurs through a television screen publicizing every child tragedy anywhere in the country*.

*Especially it it's a cute white girl from a wealthy family.

Re:So their parents think (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#17674466)

That's partially true, and partially a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because more and more parents are keeping their kids inside, more and more community resources like playgrounds are falling into disuse so those of us who would LIKE to let our kids go play on the playground have actual safety concerns such as broken glass in the sandbox that isn't removed for days.

There's also some neurotic behavior at work where people scream bloody murder about having their some tiny priviledge abridged because kids need a safe environment while simultaneously griping at overprotective parents raising spoiled kids.

Re:So their parents think (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17686804)

those of us who would LIKE to let our kids go play on the playground have actual safety concerns such as broken glass in the sandbox that isn't removed for days.

Don't worry, kids adapt to that quickly. I know I learned to never touch the ground with anything but the soles of my feet on one of the playgrounds we had in my town.

Re:So their parents think (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#17688112)

> Don't worry, kids adapt to that quickly.

Are you actually advising me to let my kid play alone somewhere I know there's a bunch of broken bottles?

In related news: (1)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673086)

Child obesity at record highs.

Re:In related news: (4, Insightful)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673308)

I think that is an interesting point ... One question would be what is the nature of the relationship

Child Obesity -> (causes) videogame playing

One way this could work is that overweight children tend to have difficulty performing physical activity and thus choose to play videogames; many overweight children's lack of physical fitness will prevent them from being good at a sport (as compared to their peers) and would make them choose activities where their weight would not limit them.

videogame playing -> (causes) Child Obesity

Hypothetically speaking, playing videogames could be directly linked to snacking more and being less active which would lead children to becoming overweight.

Over protective parents -> (cause) Child Obesity/Videogame Playing

This is my personal belief ... If you notice at any school the second the day ends there is a line-up of cars of parents who are afraid to let their children play at the park or walk home. When home children are far more likely to choose an inactive activity (playing videogames) and to snack which leads to child obesity.

Re:In related news: (1)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673782)

Then there is the fact that primary schools are getting rid of recess.

Re:In related news: (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 7 years ago | (#17678524)

What?!? Are you being serious?

Sources?

Re:In related news: (1)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681222)

Because the fat kids feel left out.
Here is one about them banning tag. http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/10/18/ 1442218 [slashdot.org]

Re:In related news: (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681252)

Wow.... Talk about being overprotective.

I wasn't the fat kid, but the dorky guy that got the ball in his face every time. (I still hate ball games to this day) That was just normal, nothing to sue about... *sigh*

Re:In related news: (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#17674198)

IMO, you're right with all three assertions. Especially the last one.

Re:In related news: (1)

Kattspya (994189) | more than 7 years ago | (#17675822)

I remember seeing some study a year or so back that concluded that when playing a person is less likely to snack compared to snacking while watching TV. This is due to the fact that you can't really eat while playing. I usually don't even browse when eating in front of the computer but run a video instead.

The wrong video games? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680138)

Hypothetically speaking, playing videogames could be directly linked to snacking more and being less active

The problem isn't that they are playing video games but that they are playing the wrong titles. Games such as Wii Sports and Dance Dance Revolution (no, I'm not aware of any announcement of Dance Dance Wii) promote physical activity.

Re:In related news: (2, Insightful)

Alcibaides (1042922) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673634)

Indeed. I figure I'm one of the members of the first video gaming generation. I played a LOT of games when I was a kid. But we still tooled around outside something fierce. I just don't see kids doing that these days (or, for that matter, engaging in non-planned activities). Maybe I'm just getting old.

Re:In related news: (1)

William Baric (256345) | more than 7 years ago | (#17674172)

I know several people who are very thin, and yet don't do any physical activities. You don't become obese because you play video games, but simply because eat too much. Psychological problems, like being under too much stress, is what make you eat too much.

I believe there is a relationship between video games (and the implied : not doing enough physical activities) and being obese, but it's not a direct relationship. Physical activities release endorphin, which basically reduce the effect of stress (at least it does for me). Playing video games, even games that are very rewarding, won't even come close to what some running will do to your endorphin level. This means kids will find another way to raise their endorphin level (and calm down)... and a good way is food.

Of course they could also have sex and take cocaine, but I doubt their parents will agree.

cooties (2, Insightful)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673194)

Now give me a study of ages 14-18, and see how the most popular activities change when the kiddies discover the appeal of the opposite (or same) gender.

Re:cooties (1)

mqduck (232646) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673716)

Now give me a study of ages 14-18, and see how the most popular activities change when the kiddies discover the appeal of the opposite (or same) gender.


I'm thinking you really don't belong on Slashdot.

Re:cooties (3, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17674030)

True, at those ages they spend 98% of their time masturbating to Internet porn. The other 2% is spent playing video games.

Remember good ol' days (1)

chord.wav (599850) | more than 7 years ago | (#17673426)

Remember good ol' days when the most popular activity was jerking off?

Ages 2 to 14 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17675216)

Between the ages of 2 and 14, your most popular activity was jerking off? Wow, you sir deserve a /. award.

Clearly wrong (1)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 7 years ago | (#17674062)

The 12 to 14 year old age group has an entirely different favorite past time, but I don't think their too public about it.

Re:Clearly wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17677964)

but I don't think their too public about it.
FOR THE LAST TIME IT'S 'THEY ARE'!

Criminalized Childhood... (1)

RexRhino (769423) | more than 7 years ago | (#17674928)

Since everything fun for a kid to do will get the kid arrested, or will get the person allowing them to do that activity sued... what else is there to do?

If they are lucky enough to have a playground to hang out in (playgrounds are lawsuit magnets, and many cities don't want to deal with the liability), then if they play a game of "cops and robbers" or any sort of fighting game (like kids do) they will get arrested for making terroristic threats. They can't play ball or ride their bike in the street... curfews say they have to be home at 6... and if a police officer even sees them walking around without an adult they are going to be harrassed for "loitering". Every damn sport has to be played with expensive safety equipment and non-stop adult supervision, which means no sports other than your weekly supervised soccor practice.

The ironic thing is that people are going to call for "more government action" to stop this problem... like the problem isn't too much government action to "protect the children" in the first place.

Re:Criminalized Childhood... (1)

eboot (697478) | more than 7 years ago | (#17680808)

Is terroristic a word? I've heard it a few times now and i'm almost certain it isn't...

To the exclusion of other games too. (1)

Kris_J (10111) | more than 7 years ago | (#17676334)

I've been exploring (and promoting) games that aren't video games, and the interest is phenominally low. Out of a typical sample of 100 "gaming" forums or websites, 90 would be about video games, 5 would be about Pen and Paper RPGs, 2 would be about games that use a standard 52-card deck, 1 would be about sudoku, 1 would be about Monopoly or Scrabble and the last one would be about something else. Since my interest lies in the else, and is so obscure that only, say, 1 in 10 elses might cover it, I have to rummage through nearly a thousand "gaming" communities just to find one interested in the same stuff as me. More if I actually want to find an active one.

Re:To the exclusion of other games too. (1)

Leviance (1001065) | more than 7 years ago | (#17676898)

others games existed before the computer, hence the reason you can talk about them at newsgroups but nowhere else :)

i come from a family of teachers... I hear plenty of reports of children spending their whole weekends gaming. Bad thing? Only for when they get old enough to start dating...

Re:To the exclusion of other games too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17679214)

Well, I think that's pretty reasonable, since computer games are better than other games in almost every way. After all, a computer can handle any ruleset from a board/pen-and-paper/card game, and it can do all kinds of other things too. We even have motion-sensitive bowling and tennis now!

Also, you need to find better search keywords :)

    -Ex chess club captain who hasn't touched a pawn since he got Advance Wars.

Re:To the exclusion of other games too. (1)

fanpoe (598824) | more than 7 years ago | (#17681190)

Set up your own then.

Re:To the exclusion of other games too. (1)

Kris_J (10111) | more than 7 years ago | (#17693880)

Already have [krisjohn.net] , several in fact.

Re:To the exclusion of other games too. (1)

Tet (2721) | more than 7 years ago | (#17690430)

I have to rummage through nearly a thousand "gaming" communities just to find one interested in the same stuff as me.

Try BoardGameGeek [boardgamegeek.com] .

Re:To the exclusion of other games too. (1)

Kris_J (10111) | more than 7 years ago | (#17693914)

That's one.

Again? (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17678242)

I thought that trend was clearly apparent before.

Games condense huge amount of information into one easily accessible piece. And kids are naturally like to consume any information they cross. That was whole grounding of (fortunately at large failed) Edutainment [wikipedia.org] .

I think it is less about games - but more about technology penetration. And games - from kids' stand point - is natural use for new technology.

No, the cat does not "got my tongue." (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 7 years ago | (#17682148)

> kids are increasingly playing games earlier in life.

I can see where this is heading: Congratulations! Your ranking on the Diablo II Battle.net hardcore ladder is #1 -- tied with your seventy-five million closest friends! You're all number 1! You're all the best, the winners!

My kids (1)

Some_Llama (763766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17687230)

Have been playing PC games with me on our lan for about 5 years now, they are currently aged 15/11/10.

I'd say on average their percentage between playing games and watching TV is about 80/20% respectively.. of course they also ride their bikes, play outside, visit friends, etc.. but they seem to enjoy using the PC/gaming more than the sedentary activity of watching TV.
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