The NPD Group has issued a report on the state of video game hungry kids, indicating that the over a third of those who do play video games are spending more time with them than they were last year. The NPD's poll of 3,474 of two- to seventeen-year old gamers shows some interesting trends and habits among the younger crowd, indicating that some 39 percent of kids play their video games online as opposed to offline. Only 9 percent of those online gamers are actually paying for their online fix, however, with females, kids aged 15 to 17 and "super users"—those who play games more than 16 hours a week—leading the online gamer youth demographic.
These kids, who should really go outside and play when they're not reading Kotaku for news and foul language, have a common progression, says the NPD. The tend to graduate from kid-friendly electronic games to PC at around age 6, eventually moving on to mobile phone gaming, portable game devices, then to consoles like PlayStations, Xboxes and one-to-two Gamecubes, with NPD indicating that they're going for next-gen hardware.
Rather unsurprisingly, boys tend to stick to consoles, while girls are more attracted to PCs, mobile platforms and "kid-oriented systems".
NPD analyst Anita Frazier says of the findings that between 6 and 8 years is the "critical age at which to capture the future gamers of the world" as that's when children transition into "serious" gamers. These poor kids. They don't know the hell they're getting themselves into, one of pale skin, soft belly flesh and an unhealthy attraction to epic mounts.
Still, I, like Frazier, and Houston before her, believe that children are our future and we should teach them well and let them lead the way. And make sure they play Ico. It's important to a child's development.