Children are in control of their game behaviour

Hilversum, 9 August 2011

The majority of all children between 8 and 14 years old say they are in control of their own game behaviour. Only three per cent says they are ‘very addicted’ to videogames, 13% says they have a mild addition to gaming. This is one of the results of a study conducted by the Dutch Jeugdjournaal (news programme for children) amongst 900 children. The respondents that found themselves to be ‘game addicted’, say this has mostly to do with the fact gaming is just ‘too much fun’ and by their desire to reach a new level.

Parents keep track of time

According to two third of all respondents, their parents monitor how long the child is playing, almost half of all parents does so on a regular basis. Nonetheless, 20% of all children admits to having played a game that their parents did not approve of. Especially older boys and girls, in the ages of 13-14 years, like to play videogames for older players, even if their parents disapprove.

Gaming with friends

The research also shows that gaming is a social activity for most children. The majority of the children play videogames together with their friends. Only 15% always plays videogames by themselves.  Children usually play with friends they also know in real life, also when they play online. A little over ten per cent of all children also plays with or against other people on the internet they have never met before.

From all respondents that indicated they play online against strangers, 12% has had a bad experience with this. The girls are more likely to tell this to their parents, almost 50% of them told their parents about it. Most of the boys do not tell anyone about having a bad experience, but if they do tell someone, most of them will go to friends, not the parents.

Not good for you

40% of the respondents thinks gaming is not good for them. The main reason for this is that gaming cuts into time they would otherwise spend playing outdoors. In addition to this, girls also find that gaming makes them lazy. A quarter of all children does think gaming is good for them. The most important reason for this is that gaming makes them smarter and happier.

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