Teens, Games and Civics
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Presented by Amanda Lenhart to Games, Learning and Libraries

Presented by Amanda Lenhart to Games, Learning and Libraries

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Teens, Games and Civics Teens, Games and Civics Presentation Transcript

  • Teens, Games and Civics Amanda Lenhart Games, Learning and Libraries November 2, 2008 Oak Brook, IL
  • Road Map
    • Methods
    • Main Findings
      • Basics about game play
      • Gaming as a social experience
      • Parents and games
      • Games and civics
    • Takeaways
  • Research Questions
    • What are the game playing habits of American youth?
      • Who plays video games?
      • What do they play?
      • What experiences do they have while playing?
    • If we care about young people we must ask how games are impacting their lives
      • Do games isolate young people?
      • Are games creating a generation of civically disengaged youth?
      • Can games provide civic learning opportunities?
  • Methods
    • RDD national telephone survey
    • 1,102 youth ages 12-17 and a parent in their home
    • Margin of error +/- 3 percentage points
    • Survey conducted November 1, 2007 – February 5, 2008
  • Major Finding: Nearly all teens play games.
    • 97% of teens say they have played video games
    Creative Commons License, Flickr user fille_de_photo
    • 50% played a game “yesterday.”
    • 86% play on consoles.
    • 73% play on computers.
    • 60% play on portable devices.
    • 48% play on a cell phone.
  • Who plays games?
    • 99% of boys, 94% of girls
    • Boys play more often and for longer duration
      • 39% of boys play daily; 22% of girls do
      • 34% of boys play 2+ hours a day; 18% of girls do
    • Younger teens play more frequently than older
      • 54% of 12-14 year-olds play on any given day
      • 46% of 15-17 year-olds
    • Broadband users play more frequently
      • 28% of bbd users played “yesterday”
      • 20% of dial up users did so
  • The Daily Gamer
    • 31% of teens play daily
    • More boys than girls (65% boys; 35% girls)
    • More younger teens (57% 12-14; 43% 15-17)
    • More likely to use portable gaming devices…
    • …But just as likely as everyone else to use computer, console or cell phone
    • Daily gamers more likely to play with others online (20% vs. 12%)
    • Daily gamers are more likely to play games as a part of a guild or group (50% vs. 38%)
    • Just as likely to spend time f2f and communicating with friends
  • Major Finding: Teens play a wide variety of games
    • 80% of teens play five or more different game genres, and 40% play eight or more types of games.
    • Girls play an average of 6 different game genres; boys average 8 different types.
  • Game Genres
    • We asked about 14 different game genres
    • 74% play racing games (NASCAR, Mario Kart)
    • 72% play puzzle games (Tetris, Solitaire, Bejeweled)
    • 68% play sports games (Madden, FiFA, Tony Hawk)
    • 67% play action games (GTA, Devil May Cry, Ratchet & Clank)
    • 66% play adventure games (Legend of Zelda, Tomb Raider)
    • 61% play rhythm games (Guitar Hero, DDR)
    • 59% play strategy games (Civilization, StarCraft)
    • 49% play simulations (The Sims, Rollercoaster Tycoon)
    • More….
  • Game Genres, Cont.
    • 49% play fighting games (Super Smash Bros, Tekken, Mortal Kombat)
    • 47% play first person shooters (Halo, Counter-Strike, Half-Life)
    • 36% play role playing games (Final Fantasy, Knights of the Old Republic)
    • 32% play survival horror games (Resident Evil, Silent Hill)
    • 21% play MMOGs
    • 10% use virtual worlds
  • MMOGs and Virtual Worlds
    • 20% of teens use MMOGs
      • 30% of boys have played them; 11% of girls
    • 10% of teens use virtual worlds
      • Boys just as likely as girls
      • Younger teens more likely than older teens: 13% of 12-14 year olds; 8% of 15-17 year olds.
    • Daily gamers more likely to play MMOGs and in Virtual worlds
    Image courtesy of rosefirerising via flickr under creative commons
  • Games, Genre & Gender
    • Boys play a greater number of genres of games
      • Boys average 8 genres, girls 6 genres
      • Girls top 5 genres: Puzzle, Racing, Rhythm, Adventure, Sports/Strategy
      • Boys top 5 genres: Action, Sports, Racing, Adventure, FPS
      • Genres with equal levels of popularity between boys and girls: Racing games, Rhythm games, Simulations and Virtual worlds.
    • Daily gamers play a similar range of genres as boys.
  • Major Finding: Majority of most popular games are not violent The Sims Halo Grand Theft Auto Tetris Madden NFL ‘08 Dance Dance Revolution Solitaire Madden NFL Halo 3 Guitar Hero 10 Most Frequently Played Games
  • The industry rating system doesn’t always work
    • 32% of gaming teens report that at least one of their three favorite games is rated Mature or Adults Only.
    • 79% of M- and AO-rated game players are boys, and 21% are girls.
    • 12- to 14-year-olds are equally as likely to play M- or AO-rated games as their 15- to 17-year-old counterparts.
  • Major Finding: Teens encounter both pro-social and anti-social behavior while gaming
    • 78% of teens who play games report they frequently or sometimes see other players being kind and helpful to those who are gaming
    • 63% report seeing or hearing “people being mean and overly aggressive while playing”
    • 49% report seeing or hearing “people being hateful, racist, or sexist” while playing
    • ------------
    • Three quarters of teens who see uncivil behavior regularly see others respond.
  • Major Finding: Teen gaming is social. Creative Commons License, Flickr user tracer.ca
    • 76% play games with others at least some of the time.
    • 65% play with other people in the room with them.
    • 27% play with others through the Internet.
    • 82% play games alone.
  • Games are social (2)
    • 59% of games play in multiple ways
      • 42% most often play with friends in person
      • 15% most often play with friends online
      • 42% most often play alone
    • Dial up users less likely to play with friends online (6% vs. 19% of bbd users)
  • Games are social (3)
    • 47% of online gamers play mostly with people they know from their community & offline friends
    • 27% of online gamers only play with people they met online
    • 23% of online gamers play with a mix of people they met online and people they met offline
    • Online gamers are more likely to play in groups – 43% game in a group or guild
    • Girls are more likely to play exclusively with people they know from their offline lives.
    • MMOG players much more likely to play with others they met online, and play in groups.
  • Major Finding: Parental monitoring of game play varies.
    • 55% of parents say they “always” check a game’s rating before letting their kids play it.
    • Parents are more likely to monitor game play for boys and younger children.
    • Parental monitoring does not reduce M/AO rated game play or witnessing of anti-social behavior in games.
    Octoer≈10, 2008 Creative Commons License, Flickr user Reggie fun.
  • Parental monitoring of game playing varies (2)
    • 90% of parents say they always or sometimes know what games their children play.
    • 72% say they always or sometimes check the ratings before their children are allowed to play a game.
    • 46% of parents say they always or sometimes stop their kids from playing a game.
    • 31% of parents say they always or sometimes play games with their children.
  • Parental views on the impact of games
    • 62% of parents of gamers say video games have no effect on their child one way or the other.
    • 19% of parents of gamers say video games have a positive influence on their child.
    • 13% of parents of gamers say video games have a negative influence on their child.
    • 5% of parents of gamers say gaming has some negative influence/some positive influence, but it depends on the game.
  • Civics – Why is this important?
    • The qualifications of self-governance are not innate. They are the result of habit and long training.
    • -- Thomas Jefferson
  • Civics – Why is this important?
    • Many students lack basic civic knowledge…
    • 50% could not identify the correct function of the Supreme Court
    • 33% could not identify either of California’s U.S. Senators from among a list of options (Kahne et al)
    • And among adults…
    • 38% of adults could name the three branches of government
    • 59% could name the three Stooges
  • What works?
    • Instruction in Government, History, Econ…
    • Discussions of Current Events
    • Service Learning
    • Extracurricular Activities
    • Student Voice in Schools and Classrooms
    • Simulations
    • 36% reported never participating in a role-play or simulation while in high school
  • Civic Gaming Experiences
    • Playing games where you:
    • Help or guide other players
    • Think about moral ethical issues
    • Learn about a problem in society
    • Learn about social issues
    • Help make decisions about how a community, city or nation should be run
    • Organize or manage game groups or guilds
  • Democracy
  • Civilization IV Image courtesy of graye via flickr under creative commons
  • Major Finding: civic gaming experiences do relate to civic engagement
    • The overall frequency of game play is not related to civic and social isolation.
    • But having frequent civic gaming experiences is related to greater levels of civic engagement.
  • Major Finding: More civic gaming experiences = more civic engagement. * Indicates statistically significant difference when compared with the percent of teens with the fewest civic gaming experiences. Gaming and Civic/Political Life 55 54 53 Volunteer 15* 7 6 Participate in a protest march/demonstration. 34* 23 17 Persuade others how to vote in an election. 60* 59* 49 Stay informed about political issues/current events. 70* 61* 51 Give or raise money for charity. 70* 64* 55 Go online to get information about politics/current events. % of teens with frequent civic gaming experiences % of teens with average civic gaming experiences % if teens with few civic gaming experiences
  • Major Finding: Social game play correlates with civic engagement.
    • Teens who play games with others in the room exhibit more civic participation. They are more likely to:
        • Go online to get information about politics
        • Raise money for charity
        • Be committed to civic participation
        • Try to persuade others how to vote in an election
    Creative Commons License, Flickr user sean dreillinger
  • Major Finding: Social interaction related to games increases engagement. Game players who post to gaming websites or discussion boards are more likely to report they:
    • Are committed to civic participation
    • Go online to get information about politics or current events
    • Have raised money for charity
    • Stay informed about current events
    • Are interested in politics
    • Have tried to persuade others how to vote in an election
    • Have attended a march or protest.
  • Major Finding : Civic Gaming experiences more equitably distributed
    • Unlike civic experiences in classrooms, which are more likely to be experienced by white, affluent teens…
    • … civic gaming experiences are equally distributed among different groups – race/ethnicity, SES, location
      • Except gender – girls are less likely to have civic gaming experiences than boys, even controlling for their lower frequency of game play.
    • 34% of teens have played a video/computer/console game for school or a classroom assignment
  • Other ways to think about games and learning
    • Not just about game play, but about using games as an engine of creativity, narrative
      • Modding
      • Machinima
      • (Machinima = Machine + Cinema)
    • 37% of teens have used cheats or game hacks
    • 28% of teens have used mods to alter a game
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1pnYeJgrsc
  • Takeaways
    • Gaming is nearly universal among teens
    • Teens play a wide variety of games that offer many different types of experiences
    • Games are a social space for teens
    • There are genres of games that are more broadly popular than others, some of which lend themselves to group play.
    • Games offer promise for civic teaching and learning
      • Playing games with certain mechanics and civic opportunities relates to a greater involvement and engagement with community and politics
      • Playing games in certain ways (with others, in person) and being engaged in materials and discussion about games also relates to greater levels of civic engagement
      • CAVEAT: Findings Not Causal
  • Full Report @ http://www.pewinternet.org Civics White Paper @ http://www.civicsurvey.org/ Amanda Lenhart Pew Internet & American Life Project [email_address] http://www.pewinternet.org