Sunday, December 30, 2007

Generation G

On The Digital Media Machine blog, I recently discussed Generation G -- the under-40s who belong to the video game generation. According to my definition,
... Most people in this demographic grew up with games, and many of them still play now. They are familiar with gaming conventions relating to movement, exploration, cooperation, competition, and communication. Additionally, interaction with video games from an early age has created a foundation of familiarity and interest in computing technologies.
While I noted that more than 80 million people in the United States belong to this demographic, I did not get into the international dimension. U.S. Census Bureau data says there were nearly 4.5 billion people under the age of 40 as of mid-2007. Obviously, many of those in developing countries may never have seen a video game console or touched a computer, but in other countries parts of Europe and Asia, video games, computers, and the Internet are a way of life for people in this age group.

The ESWN blog found a report that supports the Generation G hypothesis in Taiwan. The United Daily News (lian he bao, 聯合報) reported the results of a telephone survey of 15,007 people from all over Taiwan that polled them on their 'Net habits, and broke down the results by age. The inset graphic is from the United Daily News website, and shows the data. Not surprisingly, almost 100% of the youngest bracket (aged 12 to 20) were Internet users. Most of the 21-30 and 31-40 groups were also online. But there was a steep dropoff from the 30-somethings to the 40-somethings, and just over one in five of the over-50s were online:
Age 12-20: 99.8%
Age 21-30: 94.4%
Age 31-40: 84.2%
Age 41-50: 58.6%
Age 51+: 21.9%
The survey also asked about blogging, and I was quite surprised to see how active Taiwan's teenagers were in this respect: Nearly half of the 12-20 year olds said they blog, and about 30% of 20-somethings do the same. 30-somethings in Taiwan are far less likely to blog, with just 12.5% saying that they maintain one. This matches with my own experience -- most of my Taiwanese friends are in their 30s and 40s, and I only know one who has a blog.

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