Advertising or games? Advergames on the internet gaming sites targeting children

Soontae An

Ewha Womans University

Hannah Kang

University of Kansas

Introduction

As internet use among children grows more prevalent, it has become a powerful force in the lives of young people. The Pew Internet and American Life Project estimated that 93% of teens aged 12 to 17 went online in 2009 (Lenhart et al. 2010). A Kaiser Family Foundation study in 2010 found that more than eight in ten (84%) of young people aged 8 to 18 have internet access, and have spent an average of nearly 1.5 hours every day using the internet, including online games (Rideout et al. 2010). Among children under the age of 5 who use the internet, about 80% do so at least once a week (Gutnick et al. 2011). In particular, playing online games is one of the most popular internet activities among young children (Lenhart et al. 2008; Marsh 2010; Rideout et al. 2010).