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UK parents say social gaming platforms (such as the Nintendo Wii) are having a positive influence in their homes, as well as facilitating peer bonding and encouraging children to do more exercise,?according to a new TNS Technology study.

Below,?some?results from the survey:

  • Social gaming promotes bonding among kids – 52% of all users and 64% of parents with 16-17-year-olds say so.
  • Families now like to play social games together – 60% of parents surveyed and 68% of those with 10-15-year-olds say so.
  • Playing Wii makes users feel more active than traditional videogames – 69% of all Wii users surveyed agreed.
    • 66% of parents with children age 10-15 say the Wii encourages children to exercise.
    • One-fifth of 16-24-year-olds would consider giving up their gym membership if they played the Wii regularly.
  • Unlike traditional gaming consoles (e.g., the PS3 or Xbox 360), which are played two to three times more by men than women, Wii users are nearly equally likely to be women – with 29% having played the Wii at least once in the past six months (vs. 32% of men).
  • Fully 15% of Wii users are 45-64 years old, and 31% of users over age 55 say they find the Wii so much fun that it is “addictive.”
  • Users incorporate the Wii into their regular social life – 23% of respondents say it has become part of their repertoire of social activities (e.g., dinner parties, going to a bar with friends).

“The breadth of age groups that the Wii appeals to is revolutionizing the industry, and the take-up of gaming with older generations and female gamers shows us that there is still plenty of opportunity for this market to grow,” said Amy Cashman, head of TNS Technology in the UK. “Gaming console manufacturers need to keep up this momentum and find fresh ways to appeal to this new audience – bearing in mind what they want is ‘interaction’ not a sole-user experience.”

About the survey: In April 2008, TNS surveyed a sample of 1,000 people representative of the British population.

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