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Study Reveals British Gaming Habits

Published December 15, 2012 by |

The European Consumer Study, a survey that looks into the societal context in which videogames are played, has revealed some interesting statistics about the UK market — including how kids are now increasingly the ones with the buying power. Little Timmy is buying games without the help of mum folks.

The multi-country survey, ran by Ipsos MediaCT in partnership with the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE), looked at information from sixteen different European countries, asking those aged 16 to 64.

Over 1,300 Brits completed the survey during a two-week period in October 2012. See what the surveyed Brits had to say after the jump.

ISFE Survey
The majority of children aged 6-15 are buying or receiving games.

60% of children aged 10-15 and 50% of children ages 6-9 have purchased games for themselves.

A revealing statistic that is likely to worry parents across the country found that a massive 80% of children aged 10-15 are playing games with a rating higher than their age.

20% of parents with children aged 6 and up said they were ‘not at all’ or ‘not very’ knowledgeable of their child’s gaming habits.

40% of the British online population play games

Yup, around 40 percent of those connected to the web now play games.

The profile of gamers is fairly evenly distributed across both age and gender, with males accounting for 54% of online gamers. These ‘online’ games can include downloaded console and PC titles, browser based games and downloaded apps. The number of online games being played is now matching those of packaged retail games as the most common form of gaming in Great Britain.

Unsurprisingly males in the 16 to 34 age bracket are most likely to have played an online game in the last 12 months.

30% of the online population are very or fairly interested in gaming.

We feel this is a somewhat low amount given the nature of the survey. Either way the majority of those interested in gaming describe it as ‘fun’ and ‘entertaining’ — we should hope so.

The survey also revealed that gamers are supposedly more likely to be interested in ‘going out to bars and clubs’ and ‘talking part in sport’ than playing games.

43% of parents play games with their children.

ISFE’s survey highlighted that parents are playing games with their children. A fifth of parents said they play games with their children due to the ‘health, fitness and educational benefits’.

55% of parents believe gaming helps children ‘develop more skills’, while 39% believe games encourages creativity. 38% said games make their children more social.

Half of the those surveyed are aware of PEGI age rating symbols.

PEGI Content SymbolsThe PEGI age rating created by ISFE and now found on all retail games is gaining traction with half of those surveyed claiming to recognise the system. However work still needs to be done, as although 50% of respondents are aware of the PEGI age ratings, only 22% understand the PEGI content symbols (pictured).

71% believe that PEGI age ratings should also apply to videogame apps. Currently, on Apple’s App Store for example, apps are rated using a system determined by the app developer which is then checked by Apple before release. The same 71% said that games on social networks such as Facebook should also bear a PEGI rating.

On a slightly more pleasing note for parents, the majority of people believe that the level of strictness for games (when coming to content ratings) should be the same as for movies, while 25% believe it should be stricter still.

For more information on the Great Britain results, along with survey data from other European countries, visit ISFE’s website.