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Futurelab Gaming in Families Research

Parents’ and children’s views on and experiences of gaming

Futurelab Gaming in Families Research

Ipsos MORI recently conducted research on behalf of Futurelab consisting of two surveys – one with parents of children under 16 and one with children aged 5-15, with the key objective of examining their views on and experiences of video/computer gaming. In total, 558 adults (aged 15+) who were parents or legal guardians of children aged under 16 years old were interviewed face-to-face in their homes between 21st and 27th August 2009, while 737 children aged 5-15 were also interviewed face-to-face in their homes between 13th and 20th August 2009.

Some key findings from the research include:

  • Video/computer gaming is more popular among children than adults. Around four fifths of children play video/computer games at least a few times a week on their own or with friends (79%), with 37% playing every day. Conversely, the majority of adults do not play video/computer games at all (61%).
  • The proportion of adults and children who say they would like to spend about the same amount of time as they do now playing video/computer games with each other is very similar (56% of children say this compared to 55% of adults). However, adults are more likely to say they would like to spend less time playing video/computer games with children (19% compared to six per cent of children), whereas children are more likely to state they would like to spend more time playing with adults (29% compared to 12% of adults).
  • When choosing from a list which types of video/computer games they play the most with children, the top mentioned answers given by adults were: active technology/fitness games (44%), racing and other sports games (40%), educational games (39%) and puzzles (36%). Children aged 8-10 were most likely to say they have played active games with an adult (85%) and children aged 11-15 are also most likely to have played active technology/fitness games with an adult (53%), as well as racing and other sports games (53%) and fighting games (52%).
  • When asked about the roles they take when playing video/computer games with a child, adults are most likely to say they always/sometimes watch the child play the game (89%) and play the game as a competitor with the child (81%). They are least likely to say they always/sometimes choose the game (44%), corresponding with the finding that 86% say the child usually chooses which game to play. When asked to choose from a list the one thing they would most like the adult to do when playing video/computer games with them, children are most likely to say they want the adult to set it (the game) all up and get everyone started (21%), followed by wanting the adult to watch them play the game (17%), make sure people play fairly and no-one cheats (13%) and to teach the child the rules (13%).
  • The most commonly mentioned spontaneous reason given by adults for playing video/computer games with a child/young person is that it is for their or the child/young person’s enjoyment (72%). Similarly, when asked why they play video/computer games with an adult, children are most likely to say that this is because it is more fun with an adult (49%).
You can download the full report from the Futurelab: Gaming in Families website .
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