NPD: 82% of kids are gamers

Survey suggests 55.7 million US children aged 2-17 play games, with more than half of them going online.

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For all the talk of reaching out to older audiences, games are still plenty popular with kids. The industry-tracking NPD Group today released results from its latest online survey, saying that 82 percent of US children--some 55.7 million kids--are current gamers.

"You know, for kids!"

The gamer tally was extrapolated from an online survey of 5,000 NPD consumer panel members. To be counted as a current gamer, respondents (or a surrogate like their parents for kids 12 and under) had to say they "currently, personally play video games on a PC/Mac, video game system, or device used for gaming."

While gaming is pervasive among American youth, not all groups game equally. Children ages 12-14 spent the most time playing, averaging 10.6 hours per week. Time spent playing dropped off after that, as older teens and girls were cited as the most likely groups to report declines in the time they spend gaming.

Girls were also less likely to play online. The survey found 51 percent of respondents reported playing games online, with that audience "more inclined to be male, ages 9-14."

The survey results were pulled from the NPD Group's recent Kids and Gaming 2009 report.

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