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Nielsen: Americans spend 13 minutes per day gaming on a TV

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Games are creeping into TV habits.

The Nielsen Company, that arbiter of television ratings, has released a study breaking down American gaming habits. The study, part of its
March 2011 State of the Media report, finds that Americans spend an average of 13 minutes
playing video games on a television each day.

That might not sound like a lot, but keep in mind that the data was taken from Nielsen homes, which are made up of a wide swath of people, many of whom are not core gamers - and many of whom don't even own a gaming
console.

Nielsen further breaks it down by ethnicity. According to the study, African Americans are the biggest gamers today, playing, on average, 16 minutes per day. Caucasians were second, spending 13 minutes per day playing, followed by Hispanics and Asians at 10 minutes and 9 minutes, respectively.

Percentage-wise, game playing makes up just 4 percent of the time sets are turned on in the U.S., the company says.

They're showing momentum, though. People currently spend nearly as much time playing games as they do watching DVDs; the difference between the two categories was a mere two minutes. (Live television is still far and away the leader, averaging 4 hours and 17 minutes per day.)

The Nielsen study focused on people between the ages of 18 and 49, though the company did not release how many people were included.

That puts the sample right in the sweet spot of today's gamer, though. According to the Entertainment Software Association, video game players average out at 34 years of age -- and 49 percent of all gamers are in the 18-49 age range. 60 percent of those are male, but the ESA hasn't looked at how the player base is divided ethnically.

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