This excellent report came out a couple of weeks ago. It shows that the ubiquity and importance of video games, and game culture, is even bigger than many of us imagined. I explored some of this in a presentation a few years ago: Clues to the Future. I’m itching to keep running with some of those ideas, especially now that they’re being taken more seriously in business & technology circles (not by my doing, of course, but just from increased exposure in mainstream publications and the like).
The first national survey of its kind finds that virtually all American teens play computer, console, or cell phone games and that the gaming experience is rich and varied, with a significant amount of social interaction and potential for civic engagement….
The primary findings in the survey of 1,102 youth ages 12-17 include —
* Game playing is universal, with almost all teens playing games and at least half playing games on a given day.
* Game playing experiences are diverse, with the most popular games falling into the racing, puzzle, sports, action and adventure categories.
* Game playing is also social, with most teens playing games with others at least some of the time and can incorporate many aspects of civic and political life.
I’m especially interested in the universality of game playing. It reinforces more than ever the idea that the language of games is going to be an increasingly universal language. The design patterns, goal-based behaviors, playfulness — these are things that have to be considered over the next 5-10 years as software design accommodates these kids as they grow up.
The social aspect is also key: we have an upcoming generation that expects their online & software-based experiences to integrate into their larger lives; they don’t assume that various applications and contexts are separate, and feel pleasantly surprised (or disturbed) to discover they’re connected. They’ll have a different set of assumptions about connectedness.