According to a new AOL-commissioned survey of more than 1,005 Americans between the ages of 12-55, video games continue to infiltrate the mainstream of Western culture.
The survey found that approximately four out of five (79%) "gamers" ages 12-55 have played video games with their families. Correspondingly, the survey also found that nearly half (46%) of all U.S. consumers, ages 12-55, have played an online, video or cell/PDA game.
Casual gaming continues to be an important area for online games, according to the survey, with online card games preferred by 66% of all online game players. However, lmost one in five (18%) of online gamers have played an MMO title, and about one-third (31%) of those surveyed have heard of these games.
There were also interesting insights into game licensing - only 18% of those surveyed have purchased an online or video game mainly because it features a licensed character such as Spider-Man or James Bond.
Finally, the survey also uncovered some interesting attitudes regarding the amount of sex and violence in games, or at least the perceptions of the public given the hailstorm of recent media coverage on the matter.
Specifically, about half (47%) of Americans surveyed (age 12-55) say there is too much violence in online gaming while slightly less (40%) say there is too much sexual content. More than half of the respondents (57%) think that violence in video games contributes to an increased amount of violence in our country.
Finally, about two-thirds (66%) think that the government should ban the selling of violent or sexually explicit video games to those under the age of 18 - though it's unclear if the question was asked as a choice between legislation and no restrictions, or with an option for voluntary regulation by the industry itself.