Teens, Video Games and Civics

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 survey was conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, an initiative of the Pew Research Center and was supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. 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.

Another major findings is that game playing sometimes involves exposure to mature content, with almost a third of teens playing games that are listed as appropriate only for people older than they are.

Read the full report Teens, Video Games and Civics on the Pew Internet & American Life Project Web site.

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