Nearly 8 in 10 children (78.1%) age 6-11 report they play online games – by far the largest percentage performing any online activity, according to (pdf) the “2007 American Kids Survey” from Mediamark Research and Intelligence (MRI).
The percentage of boys and girls who play online games was virtually the same, 77.7% vs. 78.5%, respectively. Boys are much more likely to report they go online to get tips or cheats* for their gaming: One-quarter of boys (25.8%) versus only 5.6% of girls.
“Online gaming is clearly firmly entrenched as a pastime in the lives of most American kids,” said Anne Marie Kelly, vice-president of Marketing & Strategic Planning at MRI. “The wide gap between the percentage of boys and girls using cheats could suggest boys are more engaged with their games, an insight of interest to marketers targeting kids.”
Other top online activities among children:
- Doing Stuff for School/Homework (34.25)
- Listening to Music (28.6%)
- Watching Videos (26.2%)
Among other findings of the study:
- Girls are significantly more likely than boys to have listened to music online in the past 30 days (33.0% vs. 24.1%).
- Boys, on the other hand, are slightly more likely than girls to have watched videos online in the past 30 days (28.9% vs. 23.5%).
- Nearly one in three children (29.2%) who went online in the past 30 days say they have their own email addresses – a larger percentage of girls than boys (32.0% vs. 26.3%) say so.
“[T]he level of personal email addresses among kids speaks to how dramatically email has changed, and will continue to change, the way we communicate,” Kelly said.
* Cheats are codes that can be entered into a video game to change the game’s behavior, alter characters’ look and abilities, skip levels, or access hidden features.
About the study: Approximately 5,000 children responded to the study, questionnaires for which were sent to households with children ages 6-11 that were interviewed for MRI’s “Survey of the American Consumer.”