Report – Research 5 & 6

Posted on: Thursday 05 July 2018 12:28am by Cate Zerega

There is no really safe place where parents feel they can let their children go wild in the current voice world. The industry has not addressed parental fears of the long term impact voice technology will have on their children.


  • The most successful games are built around social mechanics at their heart.
  • Gender differences emerge in games in terms of platform.
  • Both genders start on tablets with boys more likely to push through to consoles and girls more likely to graduate to mobiles.


Alexa, Amazon’s voice technology application, gained notoriety because it beat out “mum” as a child’s first word. Anna Campbell of Sparkler presented her research on the relationship between voice technology, children (aka gen alpha users) and their parents. She’s found most children understand what voice tech is, how to find it, how to regularly use it within the home and the tech embeds easily into their behaviours. Children jump the integration chasm for voice technology because it is compatible with their lives; they can push boundaries, incrementally build understanding, there’s great potential for emotional connection, and they can easily plumb its potential via YouTube.

Voice technology has impacted young viewer and their interaction with channel brands – the dominant search is for a specific program or character, no scrolling through a channel. Campbell sees huge challenge and potential for brands to develop conversational, personal relationships with children through their voice. Channel brands adhering to emotional scheduling, creating content that suits the child’s different emotional needs throughout the day, as particularly useful with voice technology.

Daniel Eddy and Sunam Ikhlaq of Trinity McQueen presented their research on Generation Game. Generation game’s behaviour is influenced by their parents, who spend approximately ten hours a week playing games themselves. Children accelerate rapidly in how they play games and this stimulation comes from parents, siblings and peers. Eddy and Ikhlaq found two key trends in game development. The growth of distribution from software to service and games as social events as opposed to singular ones. Games are a constant in a child’s busy life because they balance their need to both lean back and lean in which fosters an emotional connection between kids and video games.

Tablets are the entry point for generation game and then their smart phone takes over. The most successful brands understand and facilitate their users continued experience across devices making sticky content. Generation game and their parents are more open to branded content. They are also more open to advertising within the game as a function of funding the game, than researchers expected. There is huge potential for industry growth in this aspect of gaming.

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Cate Zerega

About the author

Cate Zerega

University of Nottingham, Student

Cate hails from Chicago - so she likes her theatre fringe and her pizza deep. Her MA thesis analyses male anxiety in post war Hollywood film for the Institute for Screen Research at the University of Nottingham. Cate has worked in casting, as a talent agent and as a nanny;… Read more