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.
Photo Credit: sean drelinger