A new survey commissioned by America Online points to the broad popularity of computer and video games as a source of entertainment enjoyed by the whole family, as opposed to the “traditional” market of teens and young adults.
reports that almost four out of five “gamers” ages 12 to 55 have played video games with their families. And almost half — 46 percent — of all U.S. consumers have played online games, video games or games on their cell phones and PDAs.
The study suggests that 39 percent of adults ages 18 to 55 have played games on a computer, cell phone, PDA or video game console. About 10 percent of those survey said that they “addicted” to playing video games and 27 percent admit to even pulling all-nighters playing their favorites.
The study also uncovered some interesting trends in how people think about computer and video games: Almost half of those surveyed — 47 percent — felt that there’s too much violence in online gaming, and about 40 percent said there’s too much sexual content. Fifty-seven percent of those polled think that violent video games contributed to increased violence in real life, and almost two-thirds — 66 percent — support governmental restriction on the sales of violent video games to minors.
Casual games make up the majority of online gamers’ activities, according to the survey — 66 percent of those polled preferred online card games. Eighteen percent of those polled participate in Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs) like World of Warcraft or Everquest, although a total of 31 percent have heard of those games.
Parents be warned: Your junior video game addicts may be skipping meals and homework while they’re playing, according to AOL games. Adults aren’t off the hook, either: One in five adults polled admit to having played games on their cell phone or PDA at work.
Teens spend an average of seven hours a week in total playing video games — the same amount they’re studying for school. Thirty three percent admit to having missed their favorite television shows. Ninteen percent say they’ve skipped a meal to play.
The AOL Games poll was conducted by telephone between April 21 and May 1 2005, and used a random sample of 1,005 Americans. 801 adults aged 18 to 55 participated in the survey, along with 204 teenagers aged 12 to 17. The margin of error is +/- 3 percent. Schulman, Ronca & Bucuvalas (SRBI) Public Affairs designed and conducted the survey.
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