1 in 3 boys in second class play over-18s video games, research shows

In preparation of Black Friday sales, parents are urged to check age restrictions on video games.

A recent survey has found that one-third of boys in second class have played over-18s games online.

The research was conducted by Irish education tech company Zeeko, an advocate for children’s online safety.

The company collected data for a three month period (September - November 2018) to compile their latest Digital Behaviour Trends report.

They surveyed 6,847 children in 45 different primary schools across the country.

The report showed that the number of boys who play over-18s games doubled by the time they reached sixth class (60 percent).

In fact, young boys play these games quite frequently due to their early access to the internet, which is being allowed earlier than ever when compared to older generations.

Zeeko found that children start going online between six and seven-years-old on average.

15 percent of primary school children spend one to three hours a day online on weekdays, and 16 percent spend up to five hours a day online on weekends.

The troubling statistic is specifically affecting boys on a larger scale. The report found that boys play video games three times more than girls do.

Joe Kenny, Zeeko founder, said: “We normally bring out the results of our in-school research findings every January. However, this finding that one in three of eight-year-old boys are playing over-18s games caused a stir amongst our research team.

“Given, we are coming to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the big online sales, where game buying is enormous, closely followed by the Christmas sales season, we felt we had to share this finding.

“Hopefully by sharing this finding now it may encourage parents, and indeed older siblings, to be more vigilant and to think carefully when purchasing games online.”