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Over Half of Adults Play Video Games

While many politicians may scoff at the idea, a recent survey reveals that over half of the adult American population actually plays video games.

According to this Associated Press article posted over on Yahoo, the Pew Internet& American Life Project conducted a survey with 2, 054 U. S. adults late last year and discovered that one in five actually play games on a regular basis. But what was really interesting is that this very survey also suggests that the old farts (cough) prefer playing on the PC rather than the latest consoles (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii) . This conclusion contradicts other research suggesting that adult gamers actually prefer Nintendo’s Wii, especially those favoring the console’s interactivity environment.

But most of the results from Pew’s recent survey are really no-brainers, especially for those that actually play games, claiming that younger adults are prone to play more games than seniors. The young adults surveyed were between 18 and 29, with 81 percent of that group admitting to playing games, a big lead over the 23 percent score generated by the 65+ age group surveyed. Pew also apparently discovered that parents with young children and teenagers are big gamers, most of which grew up on consoles spewed out by Atari, Nintendo and Sega before the turn of the century. And guess what: 97 percent of the teenagers surveyed were gamers!

"As various people become more accustomed to spending their entertainment time playing games, we will continue to see this spread throughout society, " said Amanda Lenhart, senior research specialist at Pew. "There are people who talk about games as a new genre, a new art form. "

Although games really aren’t a new type of art form, the medium has exploded over the last five or so years, propelling the industry to new heights with Hollywood-quality budgets that actually rival many big-budget blockbuster films. And as larger production crews and larger development houses are required to churn out sophisticated material, stricter policies have come about to ensure that young gamers are not exposed to inappropriate content. According to Pew’s survey, only 31 percent of parents with teens play video games with their kids? Why? Pew did not offer an explanation, however it’s likely that those parents are playing those big-budget M-rated titles.

But what really hurts the gaming industry is the stereotypical outlook that gamers are nothing more than teenage boys who have nothing better to do than spend all day playing shooters and then killing all their highschool classmates the next day. Albeit Pew’s survey results is general knowledge, it’s also good to see an organization put a positive light on those who actually invest time and money in a thriving industry. Sure, more teens play games than adults, but it’s good to see that the entire industry isn’t controlled by adolescents and Driver’s Ed students.

The survey also shed light on the gender issue as well, showing that fifty percent of the women surveyed actually do play games. The woman mentioned in the AP article is a 30-year-old stay-at-home mother of four who games every day, even staying up way past midnight, playing popular titles like World of Warcraft (sound like The Guild, anyone? ) , Fallout 3 and Lord of the Rings Online. Women want that escape just like every other male gamer, and for some, it’s a way to let off a little steam after a day full of whining, pooping, and utter household chaos.

"Real life can suck, and games are designed not to, " she told the Associated Press. "That’s why it’s important for most people. "

As a parent, it can be difficult to govern video games when rooted with similar experiences enduring decades. At one time, games were fun for everyone, and then all of a sudden, video games required rating systems and government-enforced restrictions. Gone are the days of the simple platformer, but that doesn’t mean those gamers who eventually grew up and had kids of their own aren’t still playing the latest titles.

Bottom line, Pew’s results shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, not even to those politicians who struggle to shut down developers and publishers, who probably play Grand Theft Auto titles secretly behind doors in nothing but socks and underwear.