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ESA E3 Keynote: Online Parents, Women, Kids

Posted Thu, Jul 17, 2008 by Medeor

ESA finds that women and children are gamers.

Michael Gallagher of the ESA addressed the often incalculable question of "are you a male or female gamer" in his keynote address. Understandably, the numbers bandied about for the "real" percentage of female gamers in recent years have ranged from 10% to 80%, but the ESA has it pegged at 40%. This should give hope to the other 60% who play the game and want to believe that female avatar making eyes at them is in fact the same sex as their avatar. While this is always a hot topic, the numbers I found more interesting are:

"88 percent of parents report always or sometimes monitoring the games their children play; and, 63 percent of parents believe games are a positive part of their children's lives."

These numbers contradict my personal experience, but I hope they truly reflect the attitudes of parents toward gaming. I would say of the group of parents we hang with, the parents know very little about the games and online activities of their children, and that most parents still throw their hands up and say "oh its those video games again!" Maybe I only chill with uncool parents, or maybe they are very cool, depending on your point of view.

My children are Club Penguin/Webkinz sized, and I am very conscious of what they do online, but when they get older, I'm sure they will know more tricks than I do and be able to do just about anything online behind my back. My goal is to teach them how to be responsible online participants and be able to protect themselves (the same advice I give them when they head to the playground).

Gamasutra has the full recap and bite-sized version of the ESA E3 Keynote, and I've started a discussion on our forums about online parenting. Are you an oppressive online parent, and what about your parents, are they cool?

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