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More Toddlers Are Playing Video Games: Harmless or Unhealthy?

Gaming 2011/10/12 13:00:00
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And we thought we got started young.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, marketing research firm NPD Group found that significantly more toddlers -- kids between the ages of two and five -- are playing video games now than they were two years ago. In fact, their interest has increased exponentially more than older kids and teens.

The study found more than 90 percent of American kids between the ages of two and 17 play video games -- up nine percent from 2009. While the report did not specify just how many were toddlers, it did note that the two-to-five age range increased 17 percent, almost twice as much the wider age group.

The change especially applies to mobile gaming. The same study found mobile gaming has increased thirty percent (from 8 to 38) compared to an 8 percent increase (38 to 45) in portable gaming devices, such as the Sony PSP and the Nintendo DS.

The study was based on surveys of 4,136 people between the ages of two and 17. Because 91 percent of respondents said they play video games, NPD claims the statistic is representative of about 64 million U.S. gamers under the age of 18. (Unless, of course, a significant number of one-year-olds are gaming, too. Then it's more.)

What do you think about more toddlers playing video games?


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Top Opinion

  • DavidZubatuk 2011/10/12 13:51:03
    Harmless
    DavidZubatuk
    +5
    EVERYTHING in moderation. In today's world, there are all sorts of ways to learn, and skills to master. It's only when we allow children to use video games to replace REAL life, that it becomes a problem. When we park them in front of the TV, or video game, or computer as a surrogate babysitter so we can go on with our own lives, instead of interacting with them or sending them out to play with other kids, that's when these things become hazardous.

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Opinions

  • Katie Gauthier 2012/07/18 20:28:49
    Harmless
    Katie Gauthier
    I'm kinda stuck in between. I think it is just common sense that no child should be playing anything like GTA or call of duty but my 3 year old loves the original nintendo super mario and lego batman game. I was very hesitant to let my son play any video games, but the fact is his dad loooooves video games so no matter what its a matter of time before they are going to play games together. In moderation ofcourse. Before my soter n started playing video games he was having a hard time understanding how to steer when riding his tricycle. I cant say forsure but from what I've seen he definetly seemed to progress very well with his hand eye coordination after controlling batmans car in the batman lego game a couple times. I've watched him beat levels in super mario that I have a hard time beating. He used to freak out when it was time to stop but thats all part of learning too. After a couple freak outs and time outs, he now knows when he beats a level or the demo finishes ect. he is done. He accepts that, turns the TV off and moves on to somthing else. or sometimes If I know it will take forever for him to beat a level I will set a timer for 20 mins eg. and he knows when the timer goes off he is done.
  • Zerg 2011/11/29 14:26:45
    Harmless
    Zerg
    It could in fact be beneficial to them if things are evenly divided. When a child is young they should be exposed to as much stimuli as possible to increase brain development. This also includes exposure to other languages and other learned traits.
  • *The Gentle Giant* 2011/11/02 14:56:38
    Hazardous
    *The Gentle Giant*
    Brainwashing a baby to kill zombie's that don't exist yes brilliant. no its not its rated M not toddler
  • Brad 2011/10/17 14:26:03
    Harmless
    Brad
    in moderation the problem is when the parents dont interact with them ever... Video games have many many great benefits to growing minds including hand eye coordination, Problem solving, and critical thinking.
  • Jensola 2011/10/16 11:49:23
    Hazardous
    Jensola
    Oh come on, that is NOT good!!!
  • Ego Death 2011/10/16 03:04:20
    Harmless
    Ego Death
    Watching a 3 year old kick a 20 year old's ass at COD... priceless.
  • Ami Kate 2011/10/15 13:14:42
    Hazardous
    Ami Kate
    I have a 3yr old brother and he allways plays on systems.
  • rosesvengeance BN-0 2011/10/15 11:27:09
    Harmless
    rosesvengeance BN-0
    at that age they don't have a long attention span, therefore they play the video games for about 15 min. and then move on. when they get older just make sure you limit how long they play and it's all good.
  • Tyler Brown 2011/10/15 03:25:28
    Harmless
    Tyler Brown
    I can't really imagine a two year old playing Call of Duty or something..
    Maybe I'm not as creative as the author of this story?:o
  • Carleania 2011/10/14 16:28:23
    Harmless
    Carleania
    no worse than a huskie watching youtube videos....it's just something that happens today. it was bound to happen sometime with technology like the way it is......
  • THE ENIGMA 2011/10/14 10:05:47
    Hazardous
    THE ENIGMA
    +1
    i dont really encourage that..as it can really hit fitness later on...
  • mg's haven~POTL~PWCM~JLA 2011/10/14 02:49:59
    Harmless
    mg's haven~POTL~PWCM~JLA
    +1
    Most of the games they have that are set up for them specifically are not bad. However its when someone else has them in their laps to play the more avanced games that danger comes into -play..Also they do kinda take away the idea of their finding ways to deal with the idea of no is hampered a bit. (reflex says to throw the toy especially if they cant say i lost and dont like it.)
  • XXrawwwrXX 2011/10/13 23:53:13
    Harmless
    XXrawwwrXX
    +1
    there are alot of games for toddlers that help them learn thing.
    now, if your letting them play black ops or something, then i think that might not be such a good idea
  • erikainsanity 2011/10/13 21:58:05
    Hazardous
    erikainsanity
    +1
    Yes, let video games be another babysitter amongst us. Isn't sitting your child in front of a propagandistic television enough? obesity is on the rise, unfit parents is what i see. Terrible
  • scubagal 2011/10/13 18:22:07
    Harmless
    scubagal
    +1
    As others have said - in moderation. I have 3 year old twin girls that play things such as "Arthur's Reading" and Clifford the Big Red Dog, and Shortcut to preschool - these are educational programs that are age appropriate and are on computers that do NOT have internet access - so there is no change of them seeing anything inappropriate. They enjoy it, but they also enjoy their toys and outside time (which they get MUCH more of than computer time).
  • keeper 2011/10/13 18:19:55
    Harmless
    keeper
    +1
    I think you will find many of them here on SH!!!
  • flyingseaturtle BN 2011/10/13 18:05:02
    Harmless
    flyingseaturtle BN
    +1
    It just depends on the game. Some games can be beneficial and some games can be hazardous.
  • yvajcner 2011/10/13 17:43:53
    Hazardous
    yvajcner
    +1
    I hate when my hubby holds our kids and plays video games. I let my 3 year old play abc and letter games online, but only on a safe and approved site given to me by a special education teacher who I'm friends with.
  • Shom St... yvajcner 2011/10/13 18:04:54
    Shom Steve Michalak
    +1
    you show intelligence, madam !
  • Roxxi 2011/10/13 16:11:53
    Harmless
    Roxxi
    +1
    In moderation. My little brother plays educational video games, but it's restricted to 1 to 2 hours a day, depending on how well he did his homework and if he went outside that day.
  • geenaroses 2011/10/13 16:05:16
    Hazardous
    geenaroses
    +1
    I had a hard time on which answer to choose here. My daughter is now 14. She was on the computer at age 3 and I can't remember the name of the little game device she had. However, they weren't really game-games. They were educational type games, if that makes any sense. She was learning phonic type things, coordination, matching, etc. If it was just plain old games - I would not have approved that, but for educational purposes - I was okay with that. She has been an honor student always so I have not seen any long term effects...yet.
  • freakoutnow... cuz mom's here 2011/10/13 15:57:14
    Harmless
    freakoutnow... cuz mom's here
    +1
    Only video games I let my daughters (age 4 & 3) is Dance Party and I only let them play it 3 times a year. Other than that I take my daughters outside to play like normal kids. The key is moderation and being a parent instead of trying to just be thier friend.
  • RobertRowe 2011/10/13 15:32:11
    Harmless
    RobertRowe
    +2
    it's actually a two way street yuppys are so worried about skin cancer so they encourage their tax break(i mean kids) to stay indoors, but then when the interest is
    doom
    they aren't willing to step up, let go of their career they can't leave at the jobsite and go have family fun then you end up with kids like this toyota commercial
  • bob h. 2011/10/13 14:55:53
    Hazardous
    bob h.
    +2
    It's a commie plot. No but wait, It's the dam Libruls, no, it's the parents, why don't the gummint step in.
  • Jack 2011/10/13 14:46:18
    Hazardous
    Jack
    +1
    Kids need to connect with the real world, not digital. My daughter did not get a game system until 8 yr old...and already I can see how antisocial it has made her in less than 2 weeks. Taking it away the first chance I get.
  • www.sodahead.com/smithy 2011/10/13 14:34:15
    Hazardous
    www.sodahead.com/smithy
    +1
    j think its too young
  • Yoru Azenia 2011/10/13 14:01:08
    Harmless
    Yoru Azenia
    +1
    Video games are many things there escapist, their entertaining, and there EDUCATIONAL they can help younger kids learn
  • katchan 2011/10/13 13:59:18
    Hazardous
    katchan
    +1
    I don't think that it will be really hazardous to their health, but my observation of it is that they really react badly to having the games taken away. Something in 'em (the games) is hitting those addiction centres and that's not good.
  • Rave 2011/10/13 12:52:14 (edited)
    Harmless
    Rave
    +1
    I was playing "video games" as a toddler, it actually really helps with early development and cognitive thinking skills. As well as getting used to our modern world technology. I spend most my time outside running around and playing with toys, but my parents would give me some game time every weekend, and I really enjoyed playing simple video games. From age 4-6 some of my best memories are passing harder levels on a game and feeling that sense of pride knowing that I was getting better at something.
  • Linkums 2011/10/13 12:22:52
    Harmless
    Linkums
    +1
    As long as the parents make sure they don't overdo it, as they should with any activity.

    The most worrisome part for me is that now I can really say...
    entire team is babies
    ENTIRE TEAM IS BABIES!
  • Quietly Confident 2011/10/13 10:09:28
    Hazardous
    Quietly Confident
    +1
    Seriously haven't 2 year olds got something better to do then play video games!!!!
  • coach k 2011/10/13 09:34:51
    Hazardous
    coach k
    +1
    looking at a screen that young can hurt the eyes of a child
  • andrew 2011/10/13 09:18:14
    Hazardous
    andrew
    +1
    get them playing outside. mixing with people -
  • PDenoli 2011/10/13 08:51:04
    Harmless
    PDenoli
    +1
    Depends on the game. Many toddler-oriented games are focused on hand-eye coordination, math, spelling, alphabet, counting... OH THE HORROR!!!

    Toddlers playing first-person shooters is one thing. Toddlers learning to use a stylus to play bubble-pop, or solve puzzles, or recognize letters... it's kinda educational. Sorry.
  • you 2011/10/13 08:15:47
    Harmless
    you
    +1
    Harmless under time restraints with blocks to anything you wouldn't want them to see. Supervised. It does seem a bit young. Kind of concerned. I would have to investigate to give more input into this one. But on the other hand, it makes me wonder if it could help them to develop more so they can be the best they can be later in life. .Having just this article to rely on to their investigations is not enough. You would expect more input from a research
  • Kristen *Guru* Lynn 2011/10/13 07:49:02
    Hazardous
    Kristen *Guru* Lynn
    +1
    Could be bad for their developing eyes, I spose. Plus, if they're playing games like Grand Theft Auto, there may be irrevocable damage to their brains.
  • Rave Kristen... 2011/10/13 12:53:17
    Rave
    +1
    Do you honestly think that any parent would let their 3-5 year old kid play Grand Theft Auto or that a kid at that age would even understand the concept of the game? Grand Theft Auto has a 18 age limit for a reason.
  • Kristen... Rave 2011/10/13 17:25:28
    Kristen *Guru* Lynn
    +1
    My brother started playing that game at 6, I believe. Before he was even 10 his drawer was FULL of rated M for mature games.
  • Rave Kristen... 2011/10/14 15:42:56
    Rave
    That's really your parents fault though isn't it? For letting a little kid play games like that. I played some violent themed games at a young age too, but they were mostly strategy games so it pretty much the same as watching a movie about it, but my parents wouldn't buy me games were I'd play a drug dealer until I was at least a pre-teen.
  • 13_JunkyardDog 2011/10/13 07:26:57
    Harmless
    13_JunkyardDog
    +1
    I think it depends more on what type of games are they playing, rather than the fact that they are playing them.

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2014/10/31 02:26:16

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