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Save the Princess! Almost Every Kid in the US Is a Gamer

And yes, that title would be a Mario Bros. reference, the last time I played video games with any seriousness. Well, now the Wiis have it: a surprising 97 percent of all kids under 17 play video games. According to the new study out today, 99 percent of boys and 94 percent of girls of all ethnicities and incomes report playing some form of game. Seven percent even said that while they didn't have a computer at home, they have a video game system. And it's not just once in a while: more than half of the respondents said they had played a game the previous day.

Though visions of silent, glued-to-the-tube teens dance in my head, the act of gaming is more social than one might think. Two-thirds say they game to socialize with friends and family, as well as still texting and emailing friends. One of the researchers says, "Gaming is the reason to get together — but they're probably talking about other things."

To see what the researchers say about the types of games,


And the type of video game played varies wildly, from Dance, Dance Revolution and Wii Fit to HALO and Madden NFL, researchers were careful to say no video game is "good" or "bad," parents could do a better job of knowing what's in the video games their kids play. "If more parents would take the time to play the same things their children are playing — or even better, play with them — it would benefit both parents and children." Of course as with most things, moderation with the sweet, sweet licks of Guitar Hero is strongly advised.

And, no. I never saved that princess.


Join The Conversation
milosmommy milosmommy 8 years
We have a wii and have a few games, but we haven't played in a while cuz we've just been too busy. Sometime soon. I like having family over and kicking butt at bowling. :)
CoralAmber CoralAmber 8 years
I love my wii, but I've been too busy with work to play lately. I really like that libraries are getting into having gaming systems and tournaments. It's really fun and games are great ways to learn and be social.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
we are such a technology focused society that it's no wonder the percentages of kids playing games are so high. i think that it does open the door for more educational games though - since we know that kids are more likely to be on a PS3 or X-box rather than reading a book. it's something to try. aside from that though - it should be the same as monitoring what your children watch on TV - it's hard yes, but it's really important. i think that although they are 'just games', there are a lot of things that these games show that are just not appropriate for all ages, and it's something that parents should have some sense of.
rabidmoon rabidmoon 8 years
My bf and I are definitely into gaming though I would say he is someone that has always got his finger on what is new, what sucks, and has a real fondness for their history and evolution. In the USA I really loved playing Zelda: Ocarina of Time now and then, and had always loved Galaga (the arcade game). I first moved to Britain my then-husband got me into Realm (which sucked but it was a long time ago)..then it was Dark Age of Camelot, then Eve, then finally Warcraft where gaming went from casual to way too damn serious. The funny thing about Warcraft which I both love and resented was you can get utterly lost in it. The BAD thing about Warcraft is their wanton "grind" emphasis in the game where if you want to get anywhere, you have to invest the time. As my work got busier and my life picked up, I just knew the time was better spent elsewhere, and we finally quit playing. Now we play Wii games and after dabbling in Guild Wars (And avoiding Conan like the plague after its abysmal launch) we are looking into Warhammer for its pvp emphasis and the fact that you can play it without being sucked into the WoW-like grind. But if people get into it at just that "wrong" moment in their lives, it can really take over. I saw it in other people, and for a brief while, in myself. It just becomes this place to hide, literally. Couple that with a natural competitive streak and too much free time and I became a hardcore-epic-drenched-raid-addicted-arena-obsessed player. They don't call it World of Warcrack for nothing, and I have seen firsthand what it can do to people who, at least temporarily, lack the impetus to walk away from it. On the other hand I have met some tremendously funny, articulate people through online gaming and its also given me opportunities to meet people and visit countries that otherwise I may have not had the chance to experience, not to mention some genuinely great online memories in raids, pvp and roleplay. Like everything else, its a matter of balance. At my age, I know to get up, walk away, get fresh air, go hiking, go shop, go DO something else. When you are 12, the allure is probably even stronger - I just hope kids are being encouraged to do OTHER things too.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I'll keep that in mind. Thanks for the advice.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
No, it's a game you have to buy. It is only $9.99 any place you go though. 3 and 4 are the best. If you like civilization, you'll love this!
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I never played Caesar. Was it any good? Do I need to find it online and download it?
kastarte2 kastarte2 8 years
The CGs were cool. The card game was really the best part of that game. I almost didn't buy IX because I was so dissapointed in VIII. It was a let down after the greatness of VI and VII.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Yeah, it's ridiculously expensive. I've seen used copies of FF VII for $100 and more though, too. I didn't like the battle system or money system in VIII. I hated having to suck magic spells out of enemies, and getting a salary instead of just beating up a bunch of monsters and taking their money. The CG scenes were so cool for the time, though.
kastarte2 kastarte2 8 years
I never played tactics. When I went to buy it, it was $80 at Best Buy. I passed.
kastarte2 kastarte2 8 years
I liked IX even though it was a little cutesy what shit that adorable monkey boy as the lead. X was ok. I could't get into blitz ball. I really didn't like VIII that much. I found myself playing card games most of the time and would some how lose track of where I was in the game. I never finished it. I did like XII. It was kinda different than previous games but I enjoyed it. I did not enjoy only having three characters to a party. I like a party of four.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
:ROTFL: After, like, the first "chapter," I gave up on figuring it out myself and just used walkthroughs. And yet I still couldn't beat it.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
TActics was ridiculously hard! (that's what she said)
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Did either of you play Tactics? That was so damn hard!
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Oh yeah, the opera thing! :ROTFL: I didn't think I would like IX, because I really liked the Nomura futuristic style, but I ended up being really charmed by that one, too. I never finished X (though I probably logged about 6 or 7 hours on blitzball alone). That's about when I stopped playing games :( I think I'll start again. Dorkiness reaches across party lines :D
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
lol, kast is a dork too!
kastarte2 kastarte2 8 years
I loved the Final Fantasy games. I still play them every once in a while because they work on my PS2. Ff VI is actually my favorite. I still remember the words to the opera sequence. "Oh my hero, so far away now..."
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
Awwwwww who says opposing political parties can't get along? :rotfl:
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
:highfive: GS!
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
lol, holy crap. Me too. EVERY SINGLE SIDE QUEST. I needed the longer ending sequence damn it!
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
I've been outed. Yes, I am a total dork. :nerdgirl: I also was the person who just had to do all the side quests, even the unnecessary ones, and get all the ultimate weapons, and etc. etc. etc. It took me like 90 hours to finish FF 7 the first time, because I spent about 20 hours breeding Chocobos so I could get the golden one.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
lol, that sounds like me. Wow, you really are a dork too!
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
FF 7 was the best! I watch Advent Children about once a month, too. I could never stand sports games or platformers (besides Mario). I tried to play one of the Tomb Raiders once, and my head almost exploded with rage after the twentieth time I got killed in the same spot because I couldn't dodge some stupid giant boulder fast enough.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
lol, that is how I was. Just spastically push buttons and my guy would shoot lava out his nose! I hate the football games. That is one that it doesn't matter how much I try I still suck. Back in college I could devote tons of time to playing. Not so much anymore. Sometimes I miss it. FF 7 was my favorite. 10 wasn't too bad. 10II sucked! I really enjoyed Star Wars Battle Fronts and X-Men Legends for mulit-player games. Up to four can play both. Oh, and both of those are 1 and 2's too. All four fun.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
"And Cat, I was like an idiot savant at Mortal Kombat. I would piss off my friends who seriously played because I would just come in and frantically push buttons and win." best friend of 17 years TO THIS DAY will not talk about Mortal Combat with me. Or how badly he lost EVERY time we played. He'd actually take the time to learn moves, and I'd just press buttons as quickly as I could and beat his butt. We played some fighting game on his playstation a few months (he won) just so that he'd feel better about himself. Men!
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