Teen Video Game Playing Rates
AUG. 18, 2015 • The Pew Research Center has released a wide-ranging report on teens, technology and friendships in the United States. Pew concludes that 72% of teens between 13 and 17 play games on a computer, console or mobile device. For male teens, 84% play games, while 59% of females play on available systems. As a social experience, 83% of teens play with people in person, and 75% interact with fellow gamers online. For boys, the in-person rate is 91%, and for girls 72%. With online play, 92% of teen boys take part, while with teen girls the rate is 52%. When it comes to having access to a video game console in the home, 91% of boys do compared to 70% of girls. African-American teens are most likely to play video games at 83%, with Caucasian teens at 71% and Latino teens at 69%. In households with annual income above $50,000, 63% have a gameplay voice connection. The rate drops to 51% in households with annual income under $50,000. The results were based on focus groups and surveys of teens between 13 and 17 years old and parents of kids in the same age group, conducted between September 2014 and March 2015. Completed surveys from a total of 1,060 teens and 1,060 parents were utilized in the report.
Impact: These findings support what DFC has been seen for years, that games and game playing devices are pervasive in American homes. Of course, DFC’s surveys of gamers have shown high activity but it is always good to have a company like Pew confirming such a large portion of the market is playing games. Other surveys like the recent Interpret survey of kids age 6-12 also confirm that gamers are now using multiple devices and becoming accustomed to digital distribution and online play. Whether you look at gender, race or household income, activity rates are uniformly high. True, there are distinctions, such as teen girls being less inclined to socialize via gameplay or to play online, yet gaming as a pastime is firmly entrenched. Our observation has been that younger generations take their enjoyment of PC and console games further into adult life on a progressively higher basis. Back in 2005 we pointed out the Nintendo Dads that had been active console users as children and later actively played console games with their kids. Between PC, mobile and console platforms there is a tremendous variety of game content available, which is a significant reason why so many diverse devices can be supported and so many diverse consumers can be serviced. That is great news for the long-term stability of the games industry, yet questions start to pop up regarding how much growth remains to be tapped. Boosting the number of active women players, and holding these teen usage rates into adulthood are the major targets. But after that it comes down to how well different categories of games are monetized. The raw number of potential game players is reaching its ceiling, however.