Today's kids are growing up with online social environments. Parents and marketers alike need to understand and embrace this reality. We all have online identities, and we need to start early with our children so they understand how to navigate and safely communicate on the social Web as they mature. Building their identities is an important aspect of development and a social persona is now a reality for many of us and will only continue to grow.
Today's 6-to-11 year olds have grown up with the expectation that they can interact with their favorite brand whenever they want, and on whatever device they happen to have in their hands. This ease of movement between formats and technologies reflects a fundamental difference between the way we (digital immigrants) and kids (digital natives) experience media.
As the options for playing non-arcade video games have expanded from computer-based to hand-held to Internet and finally cell phone, so has the enthusiasm for such electronic entertainment among U.S. kids ages 6-11. Based on the results of the in-home survey of approximately 5,000 youths -- along with an accompanying survey of primary adult caregivers -- five characteristics emerge with regard to kids and video gaming.