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Nielsen: Americans Average 13 Minutes Playing Video Games On TV Daily
Nielsen: Americans Average 13 Minutes Playing Video Games On TV Daily
April 1, 2011 | By Kyle Orland

April 1, 2011 | By Kyle Orland
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing

A new Nielsen study of TV usage habits find American adults spend an average of 13 minutes a day using a TV to play video games, with average usage patterns differing slightly depending on race.

Nielsen's "State of the Media: U.S. TV Trends by Ethnicity" report looked at the TV usage patterns for a sampling of Americans aged 18 to 49 last November.

African Americans spent slightly more time than other racial groups playing video games on a TV, averaging 16 minutes per day across the population.

Hispanics in Nielsen's study spent an average of 10 minutes a day playing video games, while Asians averaged just nine minutes. Whites matched the overall average with 13 minutes a day of TV game use.

Overall, video games made up just over 4 percent of the 5 hours and 11 minutes of average total TV time spent daily by Americans.

Time spent playing games on TV paled in comparison to the more than four hours the average American spends watching live TV daily, but was comparable to the 15 minutes of average daily DVD playback.

An Nielsen study from last June found that a full 10 percent of American's online time was spent playing games.

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Jack Garbuz
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It just shows how far video games still have to go, and how much potential there remains. 13 minutes out of over 5 hours is ridiculously low, especially when one considers how lousy most TV fare is today. It shows how poorly the industry has done to attract mainstream audiences. It reminds me of the PC industry back in 1981 when I bought my APPLE II. That was one of the first relatively easy to use personal computers being produced. It really wasn't until GUIs, such as that of the Mac and MS Windows, that mainstream PC use began to really take off. And of course with online connection to the internet and the creation of the WWW GUI software that makes all of this so easy and intuitive.

I think some more recent, easier to use games with good stories, such as Mass Effect 2, Red Dead Redemption, and Fallout Las Vegas, are blazing the way to wider, mainstream audiences. But not enough is being done to market those kinds of games, or rather interactive movies, to older people. But we'll see after LA Noire if that begins to change. Games will have to be made more inviting and easier for older, mainstream audiences to really begin to challenge old style, last-century movie and TV industries. Arcade slash and bash will remain, particularly on mobile devices for the younger crowd, but the industry has to go mainstream to become the real engine to move us all to participate into the virtual reality world.

Jacob Pederson
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So, by my calculations that leaves us with only about 2-3 hours a day of "free?" time. 8 hours school/work plus 1 hour breakfast/lunch plus 5 hours tv plus seven hours sleep equals 21 hours. I'd put money on most of that extra 2-3 hours being spent commuting/shopping/overtime/homework. Does anybody else find that nuts? Personally, I canceled my last cable subscription in 2001 and haven't missed it one little bit yet.

Mark Venturelli
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5 hours and 11 minutes in front of the TV a day is the AVERAGE? US is very scary.

Cody Scott
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well they did not say if that was all they where doing in front of a TV, some may be working out, eating, etc.

Chris Orris
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I'll echo some above sentiment: Over 5 hours on average? That's unbelievable, unless they include having a television on at work or some other factor the journalist forgot to mention. I don't own a television... does that mean that someone else out there watches 10 hours of television daily to fill in my gap in the average?

Charles Forbin
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90% of my TV time is gaming, and I don't really watch broadcast TV as much as things on DVD and streaming. I didn't realize I was so far out on the Gaussian tail.

And *none* what I do averages to 5 hours a day. Yeesh. Parts of me start falling asleep by the end of a 2 hour movie. I couldn't stand that.

Aaron Truehitt
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I'm sure we all spend about 5 hours a day doing something leisurely regardless if it's T.V.

Matt Cratty
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PC games engage (or the ones I play do). TV is a 10 thought per minute veg-fest.

Regardless, people should spend their leisure time as they wish.