According to Kids and Gaming 2009, the most recent report from market research company NPD Group, among all kids in the U.S. ages 2-17, 82%, or 55.7 million, are current gamers. What is interesting is that as teens get older, they tend to spend less time on video games.
NPD claims that of 55.7 million, 9.7 million are ages 2-5, representing the smallest segment, while 12.4 million are ages 9-11, and represent the largest segment.
According to the report, across all age groups, kids use an average of 2.5 systems or devices for gaming, with kids ages 9-11 and 12-14 using the most (each about 3 system/devices on average). Gaming on non-traditional gaming devices such as cell phones and PDMPs becomes more popular as kids get older and peaks among older teens ages 15-17.
When it comes to online gaming, over half (51%) of kid gamers play games online, and are more inclined to be male, ages 9-14.
At 10.6 hours per week, gamers ages 12-14 are spending the most time playing video games, with the time spent playing dropping off among older teens, ages 15-17. Teens 15-17 and females are the groups that are most likely to report spending less time gaming and playing online this year versus last year.
"The decline in teen usage of video games is likely due to diversifying, maturing interests, which translates into stiffer competition for their mind and wallet share. In addition to competition from other areas of the entertainment space, more school work, activities, and parent-imposed time limits on gaming are factors which the data suggests may be contributing to this dip in older teen engagement,” Anita Frazier, an industry analyst for NPD Group.