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Insight of the Day: Teens and Video Games Today

Key Findings

  • Video Game Popularity: Most teens (85%) play video games, with boys being especially avid players.

  • Gaming as Identity: Four-in-ten teens see themselves as "gamers," with boys far more likely to identify this way.

  • Social Gaming: Teens view gaming as a social activity; 72% play to spend time with others, and many have made online friends through gaming.

  • Positive Impacts: Over half of teens believe gaming improves problem-solving skills. Many also say it helps friendships and teamwork.

  • Negative Impacts: 41% of teens report gaming hurts their sleep.  Bullying is a widespread concern, with eight-in-ten teens identifying it as a problem in the gaming world.

Differences in Experience:

  • Boys vs. Girls: Boys play more often, identify as gamers at much higher rates, and are more likely to report both positive and negative experiences associated with gaming.

  • Gamers vs. Non-Gamers: Teens who identify as gamers are more likely to play across multiple devices, see positive impacts from gaming, but also report higher rates of harassment and sleep disruption.

Additional Insights:

  • Gaming Devices: Gaming consoles and smartphones are the most popular devices.

  • Time Spent: About four-in-ten teens play games daily, though most feel they spend the right amount of time gaming.

  • Violence: Over half of teen gamers encounter violence in at least some of the games they play.

Overall: While a source of entertainment and connection for teens, video games also pose challenges in terms of sleep, online harassment, and potentially violent content.

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