Oct 17, 2007
The NPD study, Kids & Gaming, found that the faithful PC "dominates as the top system used for gaming by kids of all age groups."
The study, conducted in August, also found that the average child started using "kid-oriented" systems (think Leapster) as a toddler, eventually moving to PC games at around age six, continuing through age 17, which is the longest term for any platform.
As kids grew older, they "migrated" to plug-and-play systems and other "more established" systems.
"...At about age 10, cell phone gaming begins, and the gaming lifecycle culminates with Nintendo DS and PlayStation Portable, and the three next generation console systems (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii)," NPD stated.
NPD Analyst Anita Frazier added, "When kids get to the six to eight-year-old age range is when we see them turn into more serious gamers. Not only does the amount of time they spend playing games increase the most dramatically, but they migrate from using 'kid' systems to using more portable and console systems as well.
"This appears to be a critical age at which to capture the future gamers of the world."
The study, which surveyed kids aged 2 to 17, said that more than one-third of children in the US are spending more time playing games than a year ago. Half of these kid gamers are "light" users at five hours a week or less and the other half are "medium, heavy or super users" who game six to 16 hours-plus per week.
With the kids surveyed who play games online, an average of 39 percent of their time is spent playing games online versus offline. The majority of the kids (91 percent) play free online games.
"Boys and kids in higher income households are more likely to fall into the minority group (9 percent) that pays to play. In addition, the older the child, and the more time that child spends on gaming per week, the more likely that child is to pay for games," stated the NPD.