Teen interest in gaming on decline

A survey showed the least interest in video games among teens in 10 years.

by Jennifer Bissell

Call of Duty: Black Ops, the latest in a popular video game series, is coming out next week. Though its release is highly anticipated, the game may not sell as well to teenagers as previous offerings in the Call of Duty series.
More than 80 percent of teens surveyed in recent months said they plan to spend less time and money on video games in 2011.
Many University of Minnesota first-years and sophomores are still teenagers, but three first-year students and Pioneer Hall  roommates said the findings did not match their lifestyles.
âÄúI think IâÄôll play the same amount next year,âÄù said one of the roommates, Grant Borgeson. âÄú[Coming into college] I thought IâÄôd play less for sure, just because I thought my time would be consumed with classes, and it turns out that itâÄôs not. So I find myself turning to video games to pass the time.âÄù
The surveyâÄôs findings showed the least interest in video games among teenagers in the history of the 10-year-old survey, which is conducted semi-annually by investment bank Piper Jaffray.
The survey interviewed 6,000 teens nationwide with an average age of 16.3 years old.
Once students hit college, the results may not be reflective of their lifestyles, the roommates said.
âÄúWe have a lot more free time here [in college], so thereâÄôs always that opportunity to be playing video games,âÄù said Shane Thompson. âÄú[But] money is different. You always hear the term âÄòOh IâÄôm a broke college student.âÄô âÄù
Tu Vo, an employee at campus video game store Flip A Game, said he also thinks college students play just as much as they did in high school, if not more.
âÄúItâÄôs kind of a stress reliever,âÄù Vo said. âÄúI hear a lot of people who come in say theyâÄôre on a break or whatever from doing hours and hours of homework.âÄù
Vo also added that the amount of time gamers will play depends on if a big new release comes out.
President of the University Gaming League, Kevin Huang, said that he was only slightly surprised by the 80 percent figure, as he knows the average age of gamers is increasing.
In fact, the average gamer is 34 years old and has been playing games for 12 years, according to the Entertainment Software Association.
âÄúPlaying video games and teenagers is almost kind of the association that we draw,âÄù Huang said. âÄú[But] it just kinda shows that the average age of [gamers] is going up and weâÄôve had that statistic for awhile.âÄù
Back in Pioneer, Peter Heimbruch admitted that since he has gotten to college, he has played a lot more video games.
âÄúI think theyâÄôve gotten worse,âÄù Heimbruch said of his video game habits. âÄúI didnâÄôt play that much in high school and now I play a lot more, just like during the day when thereâÄôs nothing to do.
âÄúIf I was to live off campus next year I would probably play more,âÄù Heimbruch said. âÄúOtherwise, probably less.âÄù