By Amy Ratelle on Jul 17th, 2014
THE TORONTO STAR - "Sara Grimes, an assistant professor in the faculty of information at the University of Toronto, has been investigating the collection and analysis of children’s data in online video games for almost 10 years. Grimes says most children’s gaming sites collect data on their users, but because it’s passive it’s difficult for children and parents to tell when and how it’s happening. In some cases the goal is to monitor and improve the game, but some sites sell children’s data for commercial purposes.
'Kids have traditionally been a fairly hard to reach group when it comes to market and audience research' says Grimes. 'Data mining is a nonintrusive way to observe millions of kids playing and chatting together. Play habits reveal a lot about kids, as do the conversations they have about their likes or dislikes, their ideals and dreams. All of this is seen as extremely valuable for figuring out new ways to market to them, to create things that they are likely to want and enjoy, but also tap into and manipulate their innermost hopes and fears.'" Click here for the full article.