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New survey discovers nearly every kid is a gamer

By Jack Loftus, GamePro
September 18, 2008 09:39 AM ET

GamePro - Is every kid a gamer today? Well, almost.

According to a new survey from the Pew Internet & American Life Project 97% of young people today play video games in one form or another--boys and girl alike.

And when they play video games, they often play them with someone else, ether in person or online. Two-thirds play face-to-face, the survey found, while a quarter play online with other people.

"It shows that gamers are social people," says Amanda Lenhart, a senior researcher at Pew. "They communicate just as much. They spend time face-to-face, just as much as other kids. They e-mail and text."

The kids these days game fairly often, too, with 50% of them saying they had played a video game the previous day.

And even though many underage respondents said they had played or owned several M- and AO-rated games, the Pew researchers were quick to distance themselves from making any proclamations about video games and real world violence.

Instead, Joseph Kahne, a study co-author and dean of the education school at Mills College in California, said games like Halo--while violent--provided "more than average opportunities for players to help one another."

Unfortunately, the survey did not ask whether or not the kids were the ones screaming their heads off and swearing like drunken sailors in Xbox Live when they get owned in Halo 3. That particular portion of the population, it would seem, will remain a mystery for now.

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