Toronto – Video games are increasingly becoming a part of family activities, according to a new study by Ipsos Reid, and commissioned by the Entertainment Software Association of Canada  (ESAC.) Part of the reason, the survey suggests, is because parents perceive a greater availability of games for their children.
According to the study, 69 per cent of adults agree there is currently a good selection of options available that are well-suited to playing video games as a family.
“Stories about the video game market are often saturated in some of the big, hot-button sales titles like Grand Theft Auto or Halo – great games, but definitely not for families. The truth of the matter is family games represent the bulk of the market, and it’s clear from this survey that parents are seeing that, too,” said Nicole Helsberg, Director of Communications for ESAC.
Data from the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), the independent body that rates video games, seems to support this. According to the ESRB, 59 per cent of the games rated for sale in North America in 2007 were rated for everyone (E) and another 15 per cent were rated for everyone ten years and older (E10+.)
“And this is the story that needs to be told: video games can be a positive option for family time. Parents are playing with their kids, and embracing gaming as a way to spend time together as a family,” said Helsberg.
Additional findings from the Ipsos Reid survey of Canadian households include:
• Forty per cent of parents say that video games are increasingly becoming a part a family activity in their households.
• Forty-one per cent of parents agree say that they’d prefer their child to play video games than watch television.
• Fifty-seven per cent of parents play video games with their children.
• Among adults aged 18+ who have played video games in the past 4 weeks, the average (mean) age of a Canadian gamer is 40.3 years.