Traditionally, gaming has been for kids, and despite the demographic and psychographic shifts that mean mom (and even grandma) is now likely to play a social game, children have hardly given up the video game pastime.
According to research from The NPD Group, gaming growth among children under age 17 is speeding up. The population of kids ages 2 to 17 increased 1.5% in the US since 2009, the researcher reported, while the gaming population of that age group has grown almost 13% during the same period. This year, 91% of children and teens will play video games, up from 82% in 2009.
The growth in gaming may be partially due to increased usage of smartphones and other mobile devices by children and teens. The NPD Group study indicates that the share of kids and teens playing mobile games climbed 30 percentage points from 2009 to 2011. eMarketer estimates that 15% of children under 11 currently own a mobile phone—that number will rise to 22% by 2015.