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Gaming is for Grown-Ups

  |  April 5, 2006   |  Comments

Adults spend more time playing computer and video games than teens.

Adult gamers favor games on PCs rather than consoles and spend more time playing each week than do teenage gamers, according to the 2006 Gaming Technology Study released by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

Different age groups exhibit different gaming preferences and behavior. One-third of adults spend 10 hours or more playing games each week, compared with 11 percent of teens. Teens in the 12 to 14 age group spend more time playing games than teens aged 15 to 17. The CEA speculates older teens have less free time or they're playing on wireless handsets. Eighty-one percent of teens aged 15 to 17 own or use a wireless phone. Handheld systems such as the Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) and Nintendo Dual Screen (DS) are used more often by teens. Seventy-seven percent of teens who have a handheld system have used it in the last six months, compared to 25 percent of adult handheld owners.

Adults prefer playing games on PCs over consoles. Teens choose to play on consoles more often than computers. Fifty-eight percent of households owning both a PC and a console system consider the console the dominant gaming platform.

Teens tend to be more social when gaming. Sixty-four percent of adult gamers usually play console games alone, though 55 percent play console games online with other players. Teens are five times as likely to play a multiplayer game on a console with their opponents. Teenage girls comprise a large portion of multiplayer gamers. While teens do play opponents in person they're likely to play games online. Seventy-eight percent of male teens play online, compared to 58 percent of female teens.

Among adults, female gamers dominate in the 25 to 34 year-old age group. The saturation is due to free, online games played on sites like Yahoo Games. The 25 to 34 year-old cohort represents the largest concentration among overall female gamers (29 percent).

The study is comprised of data from an online survey of 1,767 adult video game households in December of 2005. Teens were surveyed via telephone interviews to a random national sample of 500 teens, 247 males and 253 females age 12 to 17. The teen survey was conducted in November, 2005.


Enid Burns

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