More than one in four parents and grandparents in the U.S. report that their children don’t play as much educational games, according to a new survey from the National Center for Education Statistics.
And many parents and parents-to-be are struggling to make ends meet and may not even know they have a game to play.
The study found that the percentage of parents and their children who reported having played a game in the past year fell from 43% in 2011 to 33% in 2015, from 37% in 2013 to 32% in 2016.
This is a drop of more than 5 percentage points from the 2012-2015 period, the study found.
The survey also found that fewer than 5% of parents said they had played a video game at least once a week in the last three months.
That number dropped from 25% to 19% over the same period.
More than 40% of adults surveyed reported playing video games at least weekly in the three months before the survey, up from 29% in the 2011-2015 survey.
In contrast, about 7% of those surveyed said they played games at some point in the previous three months, up slightly from 6% in 2014.
And fewer than 1% of people reported playing games daily, down from 3% in 2010.
The data shows that parents are still a significant source of the games they play, but the numbers of games parents play and parents’ willingness to play them are on the decline.
“Parents are increasingly opting out of playing video game consoles, and they’re taking the time to find the right game for their child, rather than spending the time playing an already-existing game,” said Sarah Schubert, associate director of the Center for Games and Technology Education at the Center.
“While video games are an important source of educational learning, the current generation is more likely to choose an existing game over a new one.”
Video game companies have been grappling with a problem they are not addressing directly.
A study published earlier this year by the Interactive Entertainment Research Association (IIRA) found that more than one-third of gamers who played games in 2016 said they preferred older, more expensive games, with a median price tag of $50.
Video game publishers have been slow to address the issue of the long delay between games being released and their users purchasing them.
Video games have a long lifecycle, often lasting more than two years.
But there are some major concerns with the way video games have been marketed and sold.
“The current generation, at least, has a more immediate reaction to a game that has already been released and it’s going to be on their system for a long time, so they’re going to pay a lot more for it,” said Schuber.
“There are a lot of problems with the current approach to games.”
One of the biggest problems is that games are often advertised as free, with no advertisements or in-app purchases required.
In other words, they are often marketed as an opportunity to play for free.
“It’s hard to find games that are marketed as ‘free’ without advertising, or you can’t find a game with an in-game purchase,” Schuberg said.
“But you can still get free content for buying games.”
She added, “You could also say that the market for games is very different than the market in the movie business.”
Some developers are starting to acknowledge the problem, however.
Ubisoft, for example, announced last month that it will be offering free access to the Ubisoft Club in the new year, a social network that will allow fans to connect with each other and have more than 1 million members.
Games like The Walking Dead and Batman: Arkham Asylum will be available to free players for a period of time during the holiday season, and The Elder Scrolls Online, the free-to to-play MMO from Bethesda Softworks, will be offered for free during the first quarter of 2017.
The games, though, may not be the most popular.
“A lot of the best-selling video games on Steam are free,” Schoubert said.
The current generation of gamers, meanwhile, may be looking to games that were created specifically for them.
“We see that the kids are a little more interested in free-roaming,” said Chris Sacca, co-founder of Digital Entertainment Group.
“And we think that’s a very healthy way to engage kids.
I think we see that across the board.”
For parents like Sarah Schübert, the games that she and her husband play are not just part of their summer vacations.
They are a great source of inspiration.
“I’m trying to keep up with a lot,” Schüber said.
But she said that the games may also serve as a great way to break down barriers between families.
“As much as we have a lot in common, the only thing we can all agree on is that we’re all in this together,” she said. For