I’m starting to think that more of Prensky’s ideas about digital natives are becoming reality, albeit not for the generation he originally identified. While often technologically naive, game playing (and social virtual worlds) are perhaps now so commonplace amongst younger age groups (say six to 16) in the UK that the term ‘gamer’ is likely to become somewhat obsolete – or restricted to those who play the ‘hardcore’ games while other induldge in more casual gameplay.
Via PacRimX and simultaneous email from my friend Chris, a US survey has found that more than 50% of students in grades 3-12 would want to see more educational gaming in school. The figures still do reveal a divided audience however:
In fact, 64 percent of students in grades K-12 say they play online or electronic-based games regularly.
So, 36% don’t play digital games regularly. Still a substantial number, and a case against sweeping generalisations. My own (limited) experience of schools in the Glasgow area makes me believe the figure locally might be something like 90% regularly play digital games (ages 6-12), but I have no real figures to back this up.