97% of American youth play video games says new survey

Teenagers of America love to play video games

97% of American youth play video games a new survey says, proving what just about everyone already knew. At least, I can think of very few young people that DON’T play video games in one form or another. But now we have some nice documented proof and some very interesting numbers.

While most gamers would probably guess that the numbers for American youth that play video games were very high, they probably did not expect it to be as high as the new survey says.

Ninety-Seven percent is the number of American youth that play video games. 97%! That includes a pretty astounding 99% of boys and 94% of girls.

The survey was conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project and partly funded by the MacArthur Foundation in November of 2007, as CNN writes. They looked at a representative sample of 1,102 young people, ages 12 to 17, and their parents. As the high numbers prove, video games have become entrenched in American culture, particularly for young people. Which is definitely a plus in my book.

Here are some other interesting results:

* Young people play video games as often as they would do any other activity. Half of the respondents had said that they played a video game the previous day.

* The tastes of American youth are as diverse for video games as they are for any other medium that youth gravitate towards, including movies, music or TV. To that point, 80% of youth responded that they play a wide variety of genres, over five to be exact, and didn’t stick to one genre or type of game.

* The most common genres are racing, puzzle and sports.

* As far as specific favorite games and franchises, they included Halo 3, Guitar Hero, Madden NFL Football, Solitaire and Dance Dance Revolution.

* There was little difference between racial or ethnic groups or even between those of varying income brackets.

* 7% of American youth surveyed say that they don’t have a computer at their house, but they did have a gaming console.

* It is easy for the youth of America to get their hands on games that are not supposed to be played by their age bracket, including M-rated games like Grand Theft Auto IV. Three-quarters of parents said that they “always” or “sometimes” will check the video game ratings on the games their kids are playing. Even so, half of the boys responded with game titles that had received an M rating as one of their favorites. Only 14% of girls choose M-rated games. It should be noted that the survey not only says “M-rated” but also “AO-rated” (Adults Only) but that doesn’t make sense because AO games are not allowed on consoles and even for PC they are rare, not advertised in a place where kids would see them and are not sold by most retail stores. Thus it only makes sense that the AO-rated game sighted by the kids was Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which was pulled from stores and re-rated by the ESRB with an AO-rating following the Hot Coffee scandal.

There are a few other interesting facts, such as that “those [youth] who spent the most time playing video games weren’t any less likely to be involved in their communities” and that how young people play a game is as important as what they play, thus they caution against parents associating video games with negative stereotypes.