Pew Internet & American Life Project
released a new report this week entitled
Let the Games Begin: Gaming Technology and Entertainment Among College Students
. The report concludes that computer games are “woven into the fabric of everyday life” for college students, and rather than being an isolating social factor in people who would otherwise be called geeks or nerds, it’s a more “social/socializing activity” than many suspected.
70 percent of college students polled by the project reported playing a video, computer or online game “at least once in a while,” while 65 percent of those polled admitted to being “regular or occasional” game players. What’s more, one in five gamers felt “moderately or strongly” than playing games helped them make new friends, or even improve existing friendships.
Game playing among college students is frequent enough that many of them “integrate gaming into their day” by playing between classes, playing games while visiting with friends, or playing as a form of recreation to separate them from the rigors of schoolwork.
That has a downside, however: The report also found that nearly half of those polled said that gaming can keep them from studying “some” or “a lot.” 9 percent of those queried said that avoiding studying was their main motivation in gaming.
The study itself was put together from surveys distributed to college students attending public and private colleges and universities in the continental US. The surveys were distributed at different times in 2002. The report is based on 1,162 surveys.
More details, including the complete 14 page report (in PDF format) are available from the Pew Internet & American Life Project’s Web site.