Personal Tech Pipeline | The Family That Plays Together, Stays Together - Study
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January 27, 2006

The Family That Plays Together, Stays Together - Study

Courtesy of TechWeb News

Study Suggests Video Games Bond Parent And Child More than a third of American parents play computer and video games and 80 percent do so with their children, according to a survey released Thursday by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA).

The study suggests that 66 percent of the parents surveyed believe playing video games with their children creates closer family ties. Thirty-six percent of parents who play video games introduced their children to the technology.

To put the gaming market into perspective, U.S. computer and video game software sales grew 4 percent in 2005 to $7 billion, according to the ESA. The industry group also said more than 228 million computer and video games were sold in 2005, almost two games for every household in America.

The ESA's study, which sampled 501 parents who have children between the ages of 2 and 17 at home, said the typical parent who plays video games is 37 years old, 47 percent are women, and 45 percent said they play games on both computers and game consoles. While many said they have been playing for 13 years, one-third acknowledged having played video games for 20 years or more.

The most frequently played game is cards, 34 percent; followed by puzzles and games, 26 percent; sports games, 25 percent; action games, 20 percent; strategy games, 20 percent; and downloadable games, 18 percent.

Parents whose children play video games at home spend 9.1 hours a month playing video games with them. The average parent spends 19 hours a month playing video games.

The study, conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates, also found that the parents who play video games regularly have strong opinions on government regulations for games.

The parents, 85 percent, said they should take responsibility for monitoring their children's gaming habits and exposure to inappropriate games for minors, not the government. Nearly 60 percent said it is not the role of the government to regulate games sales to protect children from violent or sexual content.

In a recent high-profile case, Judge Ronald Whyte, United States District Judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, handed down a preliminary injunction on Dec. 21, halting the California law that would restrict video game sales and require the "unconstitutional" and subjective labeling of video games. The law stated that consumers younger than 18 could not purchase very violent video games. Any retailers who sold these games to minors would face fines and penalties.

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