Remember when you were a kid? Life was pretty simple, wasn't it? You went to school, came home, maybe had a quick snack and then rushed outside to play with your buddies. Some of you probably owned early video game systems such as Atari or Intellivision, but in most cases you didn't play video games everyday. Times certainly have changed since then.
Playing lots of games, PC games
According to a recent study from Netherlands-based marketing agency JuniorSeniorResearch, video games have become a central part of the lives of today's children. The study polled 4,000 kids up to the age of 15-years-old (both boys and girls) and discovered that 61 percent play video games on a daily basis.
Interestingly, with all the focus on consoles and handhelds in this industry, the study found that a large majority (65 percent) of children prefer playing games on the PC. Also, only a small percentage (12 percent) admitted to copying their games from friends, despite the fact that PC titles are much easier to duplicate than console games.
Rather than copying games, more kids (39 percent) said that they were willing to save their money in order to purchase new titles for themselves. Most of these were older children (ages 13 to 15) but surprisingly, even some 9-year-olds (or younger) said they save money to buy their own games.
Marketing to kids
Although much of the industry concentrates its marketing on the coveted 18 to 35 male demographic, this study also shed some light on some advertising trends for the younger crowd. Among children, advertising doesn't appear to be as important as word of mouth. The study found that 32 percent of children learned about new games through their friends. Younger children tended to get more information from friends and family members than from advertising.
That being said, ads still play an important role with children. Practically every child (92 percent) has seen an ad for a game, with television being the predominant format at 63 percent. The Internet, however, is seen as a growing medium for advertising to children. More than 15 percent of children said they view video game ads on the Internet, while only 11 percent said they see them in print media. Furthermore, children tend to look for more information on the games they become interested in, and the Internet is obviously a great source for further information on games.
"Although children prove a difficult to reach target group through their fragmented media use, game developers can count on 'digikids' actively searching out their information and products," stated JuniorSeniorResearch.
"It is wise however for marketeers - who specialize in kids marketing - to keep considering Internet as a viable and positive medium... Internet reaches both a very young audience and 'hardcore' gamers or digikids alike," the marketing firm continued.