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Video Game Use Explodes Amongst Preschoolers

Video Game Use Explodes Amongst Preschoolers

Are your preschoolers playing video games? Chances are the answer is “Yes.”

The percentage of children ages 2 to 5 who play video games has increased 17 percent since 2009, reports the NPD Group, a market research firm.

The biggest increase in game use comes in that demographic group.

91 Percent Of Kids In U.S. Are Gamers

Overall, according to the report, 91 percent of kids (approximately 64 million) ages 2-17 are gaming in the U.S., an increase of 9 points when compared to 2009. While the percentage of kids gaming has grown significantly across all age groups, the fastest growth has been among kids ages 2-5. The other segments driving this growth are females and teens ages 15-17.

From The New York Times:

The game industry has focused a lot of attention in recent years on an older cohort. Casual games, particularly those played by women and older people, have been a particular focus. These gamers often play free games. The study shows that the core group of teen gamers and their younger brothers and sisters still play an important role in the industry, particularly because they’re buying — or driving the buying decisions of their parents with the money.

What About Creativity? Social Interaction? Physical Activity?

I’ve discussed often, both in my book Get Out! and in numerous presentations, the growing concern over the number of hours that 8 – 18 year-olds spend staring at screens: 7 hours and 38 minutes a day, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Or more like 10 hours and 45 minutes if you consider how good those kids are at multi-tasking.

Those numbers are bad enough, but 2 – 5 year-olds addicted to gaming? For those kids, what about imaginative play? What about getting outside and moving around? What about learning to get along with your peers? Do parents not see the long-term implications of this addiction?

Parents need to step in here before it is too late.

Related Stories

TV, iPads, Computers: Not For Those Under 2

Low-Tech Learning In A Tech-Obsessed World

Software In The Classroom: Does It Really Improve Learning?

Photo Credit: sean drelinger

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34 comments

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4:55AM PDT on Oct 31, 2011

Thanks for the article.

6:12AM PDT on Oct 30, 2011

The only games I played at that age was Reader Rabbit and Pajama Sam on the computer. The rest I spent playing outside or with my siblings. I still played outside when I got older, just less becuase I had more homework, got back from school later in middle school, and just spent more time on the weekends being bored. (Though I still spent a fair amount of time reading or doing other stuff.) I was limited to 40 minutes a day playing on electronics, unlike some ids I know whose parents let them play all day. (I've noticed that those kids don't like school as much and grades are lower.)

8:43AM PDT on Oct 26, 2011

This is ridiculous. They are such a friggin waste of time. I played when I was a kid but luckily I had parents who made us go outside and play. We were very limited on the games and I am glad, because now I am an adult who knows that there is so much more to life than vegetating in front of a screen

2:25AM PDT on Oct 26, 2011

thats absolutely crazy! I mean i played video games when i got into high school, but video games bored me as a kid... I wanted to be outside, wanted to play with my little matchbox cars, and especially wanted to play soccer.

I guess the games now are way more enticing than the NES games that were popular when i was in the age group being discussed, but its a disturbing trend.

9:12PM PDT on Oct 25, 2011

BAD BAD news.

8:05PM PDT on Oct 25, 2011

It's not healthy for them or good for their eyes. They need to get out and move.

5:47PM PDT on Oct 25, 2011

Kids using more technology in the most technologically based and innovative era that the world has ever seen? Oh no!

People, technology updates on an hourly basis, if not sooner. Prepare your kids for the advancing world. I find it a little ironic that many of the people here accuse Christians of trying to keep people in the dark ages yet that is exactly what they are doing when they attack technological advance.

Secondly, what is the difference between video games and books? The medium. That's it. All the game does is tell a story in a more visual and interactive way. Think about it. If you read a book, that's only the first level of imagery that your mind can conjure. If you listen to an audio book, that adds a level to the first. If you watch a movie that accurately represents the book, that's another level added. The next level is making it interactive so the viewer gets that extra level of connection and understanding. You may not like the story, but that delves into the area of personal taste. The point is that video games tell a story in a more fun and interactive way than just reading a book will allow.

2:28PM PDT on Oct 25, 2011

In my opinion, at pre-school age the use of video games is not appropriate, and should be discouraged.

2:17PM PDT on Oct 25, 2011

Thank you for the information

10:50AM PDT on Oct 25, 2011

Teach them censorship at an early age.

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