In 2014 the NPD Group released its new Mobile Gaming 2014 report and found some interesting statistics that should raise the eyebrows of educators and parents alike. In general, since 2012 the time spent playing games on a device (smartphone, tablet, iPod Touch) has increased 57%. Mobile gamers are spending more than two hours a day playing, versus one hour and 20 minutes in 2012. However, parents and educators should pay close attention to the following statistics:
• The average number of minutes played per session peaked in the tween years, falling through the teen and early adult years.
• Kids ages two to 12 are spending the greatest proportion of their device time on gaming versus other activities (video, music, educational).
• This age group is also playing (an average of five) more games and paying for more games (an average of three).
The findings in this report support our assertions that 1) the time spent on a mobile device should be closely monitored and 2) the activity being experienced on the device should be monitored as well. Because a mobile device has an abundance of activities, it’s important to demonstrate to children how to manage their time on a device. This is especially true with very young children who often lack impulse control. Games are very addictive and can be overused with little effort. It’s up to the parents to effectively manage a child’s device time as well as what they utilized when on the device. We are makers of educational software for children and we encourage parents to make time for fun educational apps, e.g., games and storytelling apps. Perhaps, a minimum of 15 minutes per day, free from gaming or any other activities will do just fine.
Quackenworth specializes in mobile games and educational web products. Our mission is to develop fun products that teachers and parents can use to educate and enrich the lives of children and young adults.
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