It’s no surprise that, of kids who play video games, more would rather play inside with their console than play outside as the seasons change. That’s one of many insights gathered by the Ipsos Longitudinal Media Experience study, also known as LMX, which collects the data behind the behaviors of kids, teens and their parents. And given that the holidays are coming, now’s as good a time as any to review the most top of mind video games, which are a key part of this research.
Overall, teens prefer shooting games and younger kids prefer action games of all types, according to Janet Oak, the Ipsos senior vice president in charge of Ipsos’ family and children research. That said, the number one game for all age groups who use a gaming console is the virtual reality, world-building juggernaut Minecraft.
“It’s something we can play as a family,” says Shannon Shelby, of Tucker, Arkansas, who plays the game with her five-year son and her nine-year old daughter. The children have the game on their Xbox and also have the game installed on their mobile devices, which are older model cell phones that Shelby and her husband no longer use. “It lets them experiment, build dexterity for little fingers and keep them quiet and entertained. And, we also have the mobile version, so when I’m in line at the Wal-Mart. It’s also not violent, which is my biggest concern with some of these games.”
Other parents echo what Shelby says.
“The eight-year-old likes to build farms, plant crops, make corrals for his animals and then tend to them,” says Erin Burke, of Frederick, Maryland. “Then he will harvest his crops and butcher his animals. He now says he want to be a farmer when he grows up.”
The younger kid, however, likes to make use of the ability to build tear down and rebuild.
“My four-year-old likes to make an intricate house our of all types of material and he does it to perfection. Then after he has made a wonderful building, he plants TNT all around it and loves to watch it blow up,” says Burke. “They are able to go wherever they want to in the game and make whatever they want to make.”
Legacy Games Round Out The List
For gaming console users, Minecraft is followed in popularity only by Call of Duty, Pokemon, Grand Theft Auto, FIFA, LEGO Star Wars, NBA 2K, Need For Speed, Madden NFL and Assassin’s Creed. That the games rounding out the top ten most popular games of the quarter include six legacy franchises is not surprising. Grand Theft Auto, Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty are all part of older gaming franchises that are much beloved by Gen Xers, Millennials and, apparently, the children of both of those generations.
The Pokemon craze is multigenerational as well, with the cartoon and subsequent trading card games making up a significant part of the childhood of younger Gen Xers. Meanwhile, Madden is now in its 18th iteration and maintains popularity in conjunction with the NFL football season even as the graphics used in the game become more and more lifelike.
The video game industry adds around $11.7 billion GDP to the US economy, and that was in 2016. For 2017, Statista estimates the industry is valued at $18.3 billion. As of 2016, Minecraft alone had sold 106-million copies. In terms of the timing behind the purchase of games, Ipsos research found that most parents who purchase new games for their kids do so within five days of a new release. With thousands of games releasing a year, that’s plenty screen time and plenty of options for holiday shopping.