The under 14 crowd is an essential demographic for any product seeking massive gains, ask Miley Cyrus. But despite popular opinion thinking otherwise, either positive or negative, children ages 2-14 aren’t as enamored with video games as television, movies, or even music. According to the NPD Group’s Kids and Entertainment Content report, the age group has an even spread between PC and console gamers (71% and 77% respectively), most log in less overall hours gaming than watching TV, movies, or listening to music. Nonetheless, the report goes on to list the figures for handheld ownership (48%) and mobile players (24%), and surprisingly finds that just 14% of owned games are downloaded on PC (and meager 2% on consoles).
“I think folks in any particular industry tend to be so focused on their particular slice of the pie that it’s helpful to take a step back and think about the total entertainment picture and what else kids are doing.” said Anita Frazier, analyst at NPD, “Publishers and device manufacturers aren’t just competing with other folks in the industry, they’re competing for kids’ time and wallet share with television, movies, music and more. The plethora of free content (games and otherwise) available via the internet is a huge factor to consider when mapping out future strategies and considering how to keep kids engaged.”
The NPD’s findings can be cross-referenced with a report filed by The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (highlighted by The Los Angeles Times and ABC World News), that says that the young demographic spends almost 8 hours absorbing entertainment across the board. This marks an hour and 17 minute increase from last year, and adds up to 53 hours a week, more than most registered full-time jobs.
“What surprised me the most is the sheer amount of media content coming into their lives each day,” said Kaiser’s Vicky Rideout, who directed the study. “When you step back and look at the big picture, it’s a little overwhelming. [But] parents aren’t helpless to limit the intake, the study found. When parents impose limits, they work, with their offspring tallying nearly three hours less exposure a day. But only 30% impose some kind of parameters, the study found.”
These numbers seem to validate the long-held belief in gamer culture that responsibility for media overexposure in young adult’s lives are on the parents. But what do the Elder-Geek’s think? Are children a valuable, but yet untapped, resource in video games? Give us your feedback below!