Just a short note about a fascinating Pew Internet Project paper that came out today. An online copy of the report – titled “Teens, Video Games, and Civics” – is available here:
Here are two of its most interesting revelations, IMO:
97% of teens (ages 12-17), including 99% of boys and 94% of girls, play video games
This statistic should be a wake-up call to anyone looking to ban and/or strictly legislate video game usage. Gaming is here to stay. We can’t uninvent games or pretend they don’t exist. All children, regardless of gender, race, or location, are probably playing a video game at least once a week.
Gaming is a surprisingly social activity
65% of game-playing teens play with other people who are in the room with them, while 27% play games with people who they connect with through the internet. Only 11% of teens play video games solely by themselves. (Personally, I hope this statistic is a wake-up call to game developers. Co-op modes are a still a huge selling point!)
Frankly, the whole report is worth a read, including the (surprising!) section on civic gaming experiences.