Article | A.P. (2008). “97 percent of American youth play video games.” CNN. Retrieved 16 September, 2008.
Summary | The article, focused on the findings from a survey of over a thousand responses posits that about ninety-seven (97) percent of youths – including girls – play videogames. Additionally, the study found that these people are not simply playing alone, but with others (in person and online) in order to socialize. Additionally, the survey highlights their findings that playing video games isn’t a rare or once off happening. Also, it highlights the diversity of tastes across the population.
In discussing these findings, the author of the article talks about the apparent correlation (or lack thereof) between video games and commitment to civil participation and civil engagement. Moreover, the researchers who conducted the study (and author) encourage parents to avoid the stereotypes traditionally associated with video games.
User Groups | If 97% of the youth population is playing video games on a regular basis, this would imply some level of familiarity and comfort not only with technology in general, but also with the specific trope and conceits commonly part of video game design.
Additionally, the social nature of gaming for this demographic would seem to indicate the importance of social interaction with peers. One might be able to leverage this desire to help increase adoption of products outside of video games.
Conceptual Design | An important note in the survey is that not all of these individuals own computers. Rather, many of these interactions occur instead on video game consoles. In designing new products (especially games) it will become increasingly important to consider these as appropriate distribution platforms.
Defining conceptual design must consider the new set of constraints (e.g., limited interface and interaction modes) presented by this platform, as well as the new opportunities (e.g., proven distribution and development model).
Interaction Design | The article refers specifically to the increase popularity of games requiring a physical interaction beyond that of a traditional controller. The willingness to adopt new, more physical forms for interactions with electronic devices opens new possibilities for interacting with products of all sorts.
All video games are “surrounded” by additional products available in magazines or over the Internet. For example, my sons regularly check out sites that provide information on the games they are playing. So the conversation or social aspect of the game is being extended by the users to digital services. A gaming compay needs to consider the whole ecosystem in which the game is being played in order to have a better control over its user group…in a good way, of course!