Every Teen Plays Video Games

This article is from the first edition of The Video Game Librarian website I published between 2008 and 2010. It was originally written on September 17, 2008.

A recent study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project has published the game playing habits of teenagers in a new study and the results are unsurprising: Nearly every teenager plays video games of some kind. While this might be a “duh” announcement for some, it’s nice to see it made official by a real research firm.

Some of the numbers from the study are very interesting indeed. I think the “yesterday” statistic is particularly telling about teenagers and video games:

Fully 97% of teens ages 12-17 play computer, web, portable, or console games. Additionally:

  • 50% of teens played games “yesterday.”
  • 86% of teens play on a console like the Xbox, PlayStation, or Wii.
  • 73% play games on a desktop or a laptop computer.
  • 60% use a portable gaming device like a Sony PlayStation Portable, a Nintendo DS, or a Game Boy.
  • 48% use a cell phone or handheld organizer to play games.

A summary breakdown of the report can be found at Pew Research while the full report and the questionnaire used can be found at Pew Internet.

Finally, I am very jealous of Dave Carter, a librarian at the soon-to-be-opened University of Michigan Game Archive and writer of Eaten by a Grue, who used a better version of the headline before I could get a chance to write this post.