While more children still use computers and consoles for gaming, the report notes there are now "almost" as many kids playing on mobile devices as there are on the more prominent platforms.
Liam Callahan, an industry analyst with The NPD Group, said in the report that "kids are engaged as less expensive tablets and an increasing amount of hand-me-down phones create greater accessibility to these platforms than before."
The report's findings were gathered online from a sample of female adults, aged 21 to 60, that are part of NPD's online panel and house children between the age of 2 to 17. The report is based off the answers of 3,842 children and, in the case of younger children, answers provided by adults on their behalf.
[Image credit: Flickr user 'Nearsoft']
PORT WASHINGTON, NEW YORK, September 10, 2013 – According to Kids and Gaming 2013, the latest report from global information company, The NPD Group, the way kids ages 2 -17 are gaming has shifted considerably since 2011, with many of these changes due to mobile devices.
Over half (53 percent) of mobile device users are saying that they are spending more time playing on these devices compared to last year. The increase in time spent gaming on mobile devices is especially pronounced among teens (ages 12-17) who are spending seven hours per week gaming on mobile devices compared to five hours per week in 2011.
"Kids embrace change, adopting new devices and technologies, for the experience of gaming and accessing other entertainment content and it is critical to understand the current mindset of the highly engaged 2 to 17 year old gamer," said Liam Callahan, industry analyst, The NPD Group. "Kids are engaged with mobile devices as less expensive tablets and an increasing amount of hand-me-down phones create greater accessibility to these platforms than before."
While desktop computers, laptops and consoles remain the top device types used for gaming, almost as many kids are gaming on mobile devices as they are on consoles and computers.
Not surprisingly, kids are starting to game on mobile devices at a younger age than in prior years (age 8 vs. age 9 in 2011). As the gaming industry continues to adopt mobile technology, it is expected that the starting age will also continue to trend downward.
"The question becomes whether this mobile usage will continue to grow for 2 to 17 year olds, and if usage will become more prevalent than gaming on consoles and computers as time progresses. More importantly, we need to understand how these forms of gaming provide different types of experiences for young gamers," said Callahan.
An online survey was fielded from June 26 to July 18, 2013, to a representative sample of female adults ages 21 to 60 who are members of NPD's online panel and have children ages 2 to 17 in the household. Respondents with more than one child in the specific age range were instructed to bring the child who had the next birthday to the computer. Parents of very young children were asked to complete the survey on behalf of their child. The study is based on 3,842 children ages 2 to 17 who currently play video games on any devices.