Monday, July 28, 2008

Virtual-to-Real World Play Patterns

The Toy Industry Association (TIA), in collaboration with the NPD Group, just released findings from a new study on kids, toys and online play. According to Virtual Worlds News, the report, entitled Online Play: Earning Mom's Trust and Children's Interest, is "designed to help industry players understand what’s driving moms and kids ages 2 to 14 to social, gaming and/or entertainment" sites. Key findings include:

* 28% of kids who use social gaming/entertainment sites have "purchased either a physical item or digital content from these sites."

* Many kids spend upwards of 16 hours a week in virtual worlds - "creating avatars, playing games, earning and spending virtual currency, and socializing."

* Online-offline toys offer "enhanced play value and are the glue that bonds these digital a new generation of play."

* Kids rarely go online alone, and siblings play a large role in the online experience. ("suggesting an opportunity for content that can appeal to multiple consumers with team-oriented participation.")

* Gaming is the primary activity driving kids' internet use ages 2 to 14: 76 percent of all kids on the internet are "drawn" to social and gaming sites. Furthermore, 75% of 6-to-8 year olds and over 90% of kids over 8 yrs are accessing online content.

Additional findings will be presented at the upcoming Virtual Worlds Kids conference (September 3rd in LA). A big thanks to Izzy Neis for the head's up.


Lisa @ Corporate Babysitter said...

Well, at least in saying "earn Mom's trust" they are acknowledging that we are skeptical. That's something.

Shaping Youth said...

Hey, Sara...I just posted about you on Shaping Youth with this one, to wrap up my three-part virtual worlds and ethics series today.

Will post the StarWars one tmrw, and would love to runs some 'best practices' by you re: some research I'm doing in virtual worlds to instigate healthier habits.

Ping me when you can...No rush. Best, Amy