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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus thegooseking's Avatar
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    Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics: Child Gamers

    (I'll stick this in PC gaming even though it includes console stuff.)

    The NPD has released new statistics saying that "Year-to-date through August 2011, kids comprised 44 percent of new physical software dollar sales". This is a pretty far cry from the ESRB's statistics last year, which said that there are more gamers over the age of 50 than there are under the age of 18 (26% and 25% respectively). I can't get these things to tally.

    "New physical software dollar sales" is an oddly specific term, in that it precludes used sales, downloads and F2P revenue streams, but even taking that into consideration, it seems like the numbers don't add up. One might think that this could be caused by kids simply playing more games than adults, rather than more kids playing games, but the same statistics say that 91% of kids are gamers -- a trend that clearly doesn't carry across older age-brackets. One would have to question how it's even possible that the average gamer could be 36 in that case, too.

    I have no idea where these numbers come from, and suspecting that there might be some hidden motivations at play is not beneath me, but I'm really confused.
    "Moronic cynicism is a kind of na´vetÚ. It's na´vetÚ turned inside-out. Na´vetÚ wearing a sneer." -Momus

  2. #2
    Lesser Hivemind Node TillEulenspiegel's Avatar
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    Different methodologies, obviously. Hard to say exactly what without having all the facts.

    They're apparently selling the study, but here's at least the direct press release:
    http://www.npdgroup.com/wps/portal/n...ases/pr_111011

    And here's a full report from the ESA:
    http://www.theesa.com/facts/gameplayer.asp
    Last edited by TillEulenspiegel; 11-10-2011 at 07:03 PM.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Assuming both results are verifiably correct, they're not mutually exclusive: Kids play more games than retirees, but more retirees pay games.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
    Director of the Friends of Nalano PAC
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    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by thegooseking View Post
    "New physical software dollar sales" is an oddly specific term, in that it precludes used sales, downloads and F2P revenue streams, but even taking that into consideration, it seems like the numbers don't add up.
    I'd go out on a limb and suggest that the difference would be in those downloads/digital/online sales. The requirement of a credit card would generally exclude kids from being able to purchase their software from anywhere but a physical store.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archonsod View Post
    I'd go out on a limb and suggest that the difference would be in those downloads/digital/online sales. The requirement of a credit card would generally exclude kids from being able to purchase their software from anywhere but a physical store.
    We're also constrained by the fact that kids don't buy games at all - their parents do; so it's largely an assumed (or poll-based) statistic at any rate.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    Well technically i got some pocket money so I bought my own games...I say technically since it was still my parents money.

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus squirrel's Avatar
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    That's a very worrying social phenomenon. Children should be educated to spend money responsibly. These days it is so common to see kids playing their own I Phones and other expensive electronic devices. I know that they are not playing their parents' as their parents accompanying them are often busy using own mobile devices.

    We never know when our next social crisis is coming. We are obligated to teach our next generation to use our resources delicately. Seriously, for those who buy over 5 games per month, how much time you spend on each game? Take note to the fact those are bought with hard earned currency, be them first hand or second hand.

    That's could be one of the reason I quit console gaming. I used to play Playstation 2 and original Xbox. And since I had bought the two devices, which from my point of view were expensive, I was always tempted to buy any game appealing to me for just a few minutes so that my money spent on the hardware "worth it". Turn out I wasted a lot of money on game softs, many of which I abandoned quickly after purchase. One good thing about PC gaming is that gaming is just a cherry on the top for a PC. You dont buy a PC just for gaming... except for some maybe professional gamers who play to win thousands. Up to these days I bought around 2-3 games annually, and turn out I am very satisfied.
    Last edited by squirrel; 12-10-2011 at 01:46 PM.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirrel View Post
    That's a very worrying social phenomenon. Children should be educated to spend money responsibly. These days it is so common to see kids playing their own I Phones and other expensive electronic devices. I know that they are not playing their parents' as their parents accompanying them are often busy using own mobile devices.

    We never know when our next social crisis is coming. We are obligated to teach our next generation to use our resources delicately. Seriously, for those who buy over 5 games per month, how much time you spend on each game? Take note to the fact those are bought with hard earned currency, be them first hand or second hand.
    For the worry, I'd say that being responsible for rent gets people to shape up real quick.

    For the question, I'd say that a generalized entertainment budget can easily accommodate a great number of games if games are all you spend it on.

    Consider: A movie in a theater is $5 for the subway, $12 for the ticket, $15 for concessions (or, if you're like me, $5 for a trip to a Duane Reade with a backpack in tow). At the very least, $22 dollars is a discount game and will give me far more hours of entertainment.

    Consider: A dinner out is $5 for the subway, $50 for the dinner and drinks and tip. That's a AAA game, and all I did was fill my belly.

    Consider: Going out drinking is $5 for the subway, $3 for a happy hour drink, $6 for a non happy hour drink, $1 for the tip each drink. Bare minimum two drinks at happy hour just to show one's flag is $13 - or enough for a Steam Special - and a night's worth of drinking is roughly whatever's left in my wallet (not counting the cab ride home), which can run up to two AAA games.

    A month's worth of being a homebody actually saves me money.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sinister agent's Avatar
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    I don't think hand wringing over children not appreciating money is worthwhile. It's been the case for ages - it's just that the money's going on slightly different things.

    We rarely had money when I was a kid, but as Nalano suggested, even though I was more savvy (ie: skinflint) than most, I didn't really appreciate it until I moved out and had to take care of everything myself. That's pretty normal, really. Plus I've met plenty of adults who are hopeless with money either way.

  10. #10
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    Well, they have no way of actually knowing who plays the games. If an adult buys it, chances are it's for a kid. If they register it online, well any smart kid knows to lie about their age online as not to get blocked.

    Specific to PC games, I'd say there are more adults playing them. Consoles are more popular with the kids.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neweht View Post
    If an adult buys it, chances are it's for a kid.
    On what metric do you measure this - especially considering the burgeoning plurality of direct downloads?
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  12. #12
    Activated Node mpk's Avatar
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    I wonder how they define a child gamer. How many of the 2-year-olds in that control group have WoW accounts? How long do they spend on Farmville before bedtime?

    My two year old can play Peggle and Zuma - and by play I mean hold the mouse and click the button repeatedly, and sometimes magic happens - but I wouldn't call him a gamer, anymore than I would call myself a fan of X-Factor because it was on last Saturday and I watched half an hour of it.

    If their definition of a gamer is someone who has had exposure to games, such as my son, then their numbers are always going to be skewed large. However, since they're also asking questions of toddlers and pre-schoolers, I have to doubt the veracity of their data. Most conversations I have with my son end with him telling me "I want fish fingers" or "I'm a dragon, raaaar", and this includes asking him if he needs the toilet, or where his shoes are.

    The cynic in me says that this is an agenda survey, the apathetic side of my just doesn't care, and the rest of me is going to work in a minute.

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    Yeah but saying that most of our fondest memories are playing games as a young nipper, probably being really bad at it and that made us gamers later down in life. So I wouldn't say being "good" or even "acceptable" at games should limit to you being a gamer.

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus thegooseking's Avatar
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    Actually, one thing I've been forgetting is that a game can be played by more than one person. When they say "kids comprise 44 percent of new physical software dollar sales," I suspect that really means that 44 percent of those games are played by kids, but may also be played by adults in the same household. I suspect they're not even limiting it to games bought for kids. It might include games that parents bought for themselves but let the kids play.
    "Moronic cynicism is a kind of na´vetÚ. It's na´vetÚ turned inside-out. Na´vetÚ wearing a sneer." -Momus

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