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Relationship between Developmental Stages and Video Game Uses and Gratifications, Game Preference and Amount of Time spent in Play
Unformatted Document Text:  Video game U&G 14 As hypothesized there were differences between age groups in the amount of time spent playing video games. Results showed a gradual increase in time spent playing video games between the fifth and the eight grade. Children play video games for about twelve hours a week in the fifth grade and this increases to about seventeen hours per week during the eight grade. After the eight grade the amount of time spent playing video games decreases quite dramatically until at the college level young adults are playing video games for about eight hours a week, i.e. half the time they spent playing video games in the eight grade. If we look back at earlier studies on television uses we find similar trends in children’s television viewing patterns, with the highest amount of television being used around the eight grade. So why don’t fifth graders spend as much time using video games as eight graders? This question can be answered in terms of the cognitive dimension of development. In order to use a medium one must possess the cognitive ability to understand the conventions of the medium. Cognitive skills of children in the fifth grade are not as highly developed as those in the eight grade so naturally younger children find it more difficult to make use of the medium. We can hypothesize that the cognitive difficulty they experience in using the games dissuades them from spending too much time engaging in video game playing. However, lack of cognitive ability does not explain why college students spend less time playing video games. Its possible that as one grows into a young adult video game playing time decreases because of other demands being made on the young adult’s time. This conclusion is substantiated by focus group data (n = 98) from previous work. As hypothesized there were differences between age groups in game preferences. Results showed a decline in preference of all game clusters (imagination, physical enactment and traditional game clusters) between the fifth and eight grades. This implies that even though adolescents spend more time playing video games in the eight grade (than in the fifth grade), the

Authors: Sherry, John., Desouza, Rebecca., Greenberg, Bradley. and Lachlan, Ken.
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Video game U&G
14
As hypothesized there were differences between age groups in the amount of time spent
playing video games. Results showed a gradual increase in time spent playing video games
between the fifth and the eight grade. Children play video games for about twelve hours a week
in the fifth grade and this increases to about seventeen hours per week during the eight grade.
After the eight grade the amount of time spent playing video games decreases quite dramatically
until at the college level young adults are playing video games for about eight hours a week, i.e.
half the time they spent playing video games in the eight grade. If we look back at earlier studies
on television uses we find similar trends in children’s television viewing patterns, with the
highest amount of television being used around the eight grade. So why don’t fifth graders spend
as much time using video games as eight graders? This question can be answered in terms of the
cognitive dimension of development. In order to use a medium one must possess the cognitive
ability to understand the conventions of the medium. Cognitive skills of children in the fifth
grade are not as highly developed as those in the eight grade so naturally younger children find it
more difficult to make use of the medium. We can hypothesize that the cognitive difficulty they
experience in using the games dissuades them from spending too much time engaging in video
game playing. However, lack of cognitive ability does not explain why college students spend
less time playing video games. Its possible that as one grows into a young adult video game
playing time decreases because of other demands being made on the young adult’s time. This
conclusion is substantiated by focus group data (n = 98) from previous work.
As hypothesized there were differences between age groups in game preferences. Results
showed a decline in preference of all game clusters (imagination, physical enactment and
traditional game clusters) between the fifth and eight grades. This implies that even though
adolescents spend more time playing video games in the eight grade (than in the fifth grade), the


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