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NPD: 82% Of U.S. Children Are Gamers, As Older Teens Game Less

NPD: 82% Of U.S. Children Are Gamers, As Older Teens Game Less

December 3, 2009 | By Kris Graft

December 3, 2009 | By Kris Graft
More: Console/PC

A new study from research firm NPD Group found that 82 percent of American children (55.7 million) say that they are "current gamers.

Despite that considerable proportion, NPD said that the 15- to 17-year-old group and females are likely to report fewer hours gaming and playing online this year than they did 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," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier.

"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," she added.

The report, which surveyed 5,000 people from NPD's consumer panel, found that the 12-14 age group is spending the most time gaming, logging 10.6 hours per week. Of the 55.7 million estimated kid gamers, 9.7 million are ages 2 to 5, which is the smallest segment. The largest segment is 9- to 11-year-olds, a group that claims 12.4 million.

Across all age groups, NPD said kids use an average of 2.5 "systems or devices" for gaming, with 9-11 and 12-14 year old children using the most platforms at around three. Older children have the tendency to play more games on portable digital media players and cell phones, NPD said.

The firm added that 51 percent of kid gamers play online games and "are more inclined to be male, ages 9-14."

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