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Research on young people’s use of entertainment

Research on young people’s use of entertainment mediums released

14 December 2006

The Office of Film and Literature Classification has released a research report showing that most teenagers surveyed made viewing and gaming choices appropriate to their age. It also found that many teenagers thought that they had been influenced by films or games.

The report, Young People’s Use of Entertainment Mediums, is based on a survey of 460 secondary school students aged 15 to 18. The survey was designed and analysed by UMR Research Limited.

The report was commissioned following the Office’s 2005 research into underage gaming, which found that most teenagers had played computer games that could not legally be supplied to them. The 2006 research project aimed to discover whether teenagers routinely accessed entertainment material intended for adults.

Chief Censor Bill Hastings said “the results give us cause to be optimistic. While many teenagers have, at some point, viewed material not legally able to be supplied to them, most routinely chose age-appropriate material.”

Then most popular games amongst the survey subjects were the karaoke game Singstar and the life simulation game The Sims. Neither game is age restricted. The most popular videos and DVDs at the time of the survey all had unrestricted ratings.

Sixty-four per cent of the teenagers surveyed indicated that a movie or computer game had influenced the way they thought while 24 per cent thought that a movie or game had influenced their subsequent actions. The most influential films were documentaries such as Bowling for Columbine, Farenheit 9/11 and Supersize Me.

Mr Hastings said “the influence of films and games on young people is vital information for the Office because many of our classification decisions are based on the likely effect of the material on the thoughts and behaviour of young people”.


Copies of the research report can be downloaded from www.censorship.govt.nz.

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