Playing videogames has turned into one of the most important activities amongst children and young adults. According to a recent study by JuniorSenior Research amongst 4.000 children aged up to 15 years old, the majority (61 %) of boys and girls play games on a daily basis. Although children prove a difficult to reach target group through their fragmented media use, game developers can count on 'digikids' actively searching out their information and products. The research also shows that the price of new games plays a small role when purchasing games, and that the role of internet as an advertising medium is growing amongst this age group.
The vast majority (65 %) of the children polled prefer to play games on pc. Although pc games are relatively easy to duplicate, only 12% of children occasionally copy games from friends. Price is not a purchasing factor amongst this age group as proven by the willingness of children to save money to buy a new game (39%). Although older children (ranging from 13 to 15 years old and in most cases having a bigger budget) and heavy gamers (who are more willing to buy new games instantly) buy more games, even the younger children (9 years or younger) say to buy games themselves.
From passive to active purchasing behaviour
Children favour toy stores (54%) for their games. Older children and more fanatical gamers show active purchasing behaviour; they visit game shops more often. Younger children, and 'mainstream gamers' show passive purchasing behaviour. They will not actively search for a new game. It is more likely they will be confronted with a new game in the store, or get a game as a gift.
Personal contact superseeds advertising
Advertising is not the most important source of information for children. A large number of children (32%) learn about new games through their friends. Advertising is a good second (26%) however, followed by the introduction or demonstration of a game in a television show (11%). Parents and family members prove to be the most important source of information for the youngest children. But older children use all types of media as a source of information.
Internet as a growing advertising medium
Almost every child (92%) has seen an advert for a game, and most of them see them on television (63%). It is wise however for marketeers - who specialise in kids marketing - to keep considering internet as a viable and positive medium. Over 15% of the children see adverts for games on the internet, which compares favourably to the 11% that see adverts for games in magazines. This is an interesting result when you take into consideration that the kids that like to play games also love to spend much time on the internet (29%). The research shows that the older the children get, the more they are confronted with advertising in printed media like magazines and advertising brochures. Internet reaches both a very young audience and 'hardcore' gamers or digikids alike.