You hear the words “teens” and “games” in the same sentence all the time, but seldom with the word “civics” included. Continuing their series of outstanding, unbiased reports on American Culture, the PEW Internet and American Life project released Teens, Games and Civics this week. In the first national survey of it’s kind, PEW found that nearly all American teens play computer, console, or cell phone games:

Video gaming is pervasive in the lives of American teens — young teens and older teens, girls and boys, and teens from across the socioeconomic spectrum. Opportunities for gaming are everywhere, and teens play video games frequently. When asked, half of all teens reported playing a video game “yesterday.” Those who play daily typically play for an hour or more.

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.

Game playing is ubiquitous among Americans teenagers. Fully 99% of boys and 94% of girls report playing video games. Younger teen boys are the most likely to play games, followed by younger girls and older boys. Older girls are the least “enthusiastic” players of video games, though more than half of them play. Some 65% of daily gamers are male; 35% are female.

Read the highlights here or download a PDF of the full report.

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