In preparing for a talk on children and games, I came across some fairly interesting stats on genre preferences.
These first numbers appear in Bille, T. et al.’s report Danskernes kultur-og fritidsaktiviteter 2004: med udviklingslinjer tilbage til 1964 (Cultural and leisure activities of the Danes 2004: With development trends back to 1964) published by the Ministry of Culture. The sample size is 1000 children and the data was collected in 2004. The children were simply asked whether or not they were interested in a given genre.
This is data from the Norwegian report from 2004 En digital barndom? En spørreundersøkelse om barns bruk av medieteknologi (A digital childhood? A survey of children’s use of media technology) by Endestad et al. The total sample size is 1112 children (but the graph only shows the 6th grader subset). The content types are constructs based on expressed preferences for “firing weapons” for instance.
These graphs show that, when asked, boys say that they like action games far more than girls do. And many of the girls express a preference for “serious” games and interestingly also for “children’s games”.
At a glance at least, this is a confirmation of the most common stereotypes. Or it shows that the children in question give culturally accepted answers. Or both. Now wouldn’t it be really interesting to check if the expressed self-image match actual use?
Do we have that data available?