They’re not like you and me

An online chat board for statistically average 16-year-old girls

SwtPeaMe16: Just me? is it just me, or r video games sooo lat year?

SNoWfLaKe2: Yah I agree. I personally think that video games r soo dumb and a huge wate of money! Im just saying if u think that viedeo games r cool, thast gt, but the guyz I know who play are taliban

bubblefun4: It’s just u. I man I’m not a big freak or any thing. But

there are some vido Games that are relly kool. Mario, Tony Hawk & Final Fantasy rule!!!!!!

SNoWfLaKe2: I got better stuff to do. Nintendo’s for babies n’f u dont think so, you can talk to the pinky. Why sit at home with yr geeky parents when theres shopping to do?? I’m outta here…

SwtPeaMe16: Wait!!! u sound like u can help…. so my brother’s band is playing at a nite club, and I am going to watch them play. I have no clue as what to wear. . . I’m thinking about a knee length denim skirt – but thats a big maybe . . . i need help as to shoes . . . maybe boots . . . a shirt, and so on! Any advice is helpful –

SNoWfLaKe2: Cherries!!!! On jeans, tops and bags. Totally kewl. My sis works at a fahion mag and sez its Cherries or burquas….

DiTzEeChIcK: Go with Silver – u cant go wrong. Boys like Ecko, Phatfarm, FUBU and Brody.

Video game use tends to be heavily concentrated among teen boys in the 12-to-15 age range who play them fanatically. Teen girls are much less interested, especially once they start dating.

In fact, according to a Strategy/Uthink survey conducted on April 18, 84% of Canadian females ages 14 to 21 say they don’t play video games at all, compared to only 42% of males. For more survey results, see page B21.

These were the top video game picks by Canadian teen girls ages 14 to 17, according to our Strategy/Uthink survey.

The coolest items in clothes, jewelry, handbags and even sexy lingerie feature cheerful little cherries, according to YOE! Studio’s Hump Day Hip-O-Meter. (Go to to glean more hiptips.)

Messy bedrooms are ‘ground zero.’ Mean teachers are ‘terrorists’ or ‘fundamentalists.’ Petty concerns are ‘so September 10.’ Good-looking boys are ‘firefighter cute,’ and weirdos are ‘Taliban.’ It’s not politically correct, but many of today’s teens have incorporated this slang into their speech as a way to burn off real fears surrounding the September 11 terrorist attacks. (Source: The Washington Post)

When it comes to console choices, Nintendo tends to skew younger, whereas Sony PlayStation appeals evenly across the age demos. On the other hand, Nintendo is still much more popular overall.

Nike, Ecko, Silver (a made-in-Canada brand!), Phatfarm, Tommy, FUBU and Brody are the top seven brands among Canadian teen ESAs (Early Style Adopters).

Youth Culture’s Toronto-based director of research, Michele Erskine, says that it’s interesting to note that while the last teen explosion (now boomers) wore the same brands as their parents, but wore them differently (bell bottoms, cut offs, tie dyed), this is the first generation with its own suite of brands.

Are kids laying out and publishing their own ‘zines on home computers as young as 11 or 12? They are, and Youth Culture’s Michele Erskine calls the ease with which they can do this one of the defining characteristics of their generation. As she notes, this is the first generation whose ‘fad’ (computers/Internet) gives them a knowledge edge over older generations.

The majority of teens go to the movies at least once per month. During the week more than half estimate that they go after dinner on a weekly basis and just less than half go weekly after school.

Final Fantasy was rated best video game by teen males ages 14 to 17 in our Strategy/Uthink survey. The next two choices were Starcraft and Tony Hawk. For more on missed opportunities to reach teens through video games, see ‘Tie-ins largely untapped’ on page B18.

According to our Strategy/Uthink survey, Survivor ranks neck-in-neck with Family Guy, Seinfeld and That ’70s Show when it comes to the faves chosen by Canadian teen males ages 14 to 17. The overall fave is still The Simpsons, and Friends is still in the number-two slot.

NeoPets is the number one online destination for Canadian males ages 12 to 17. For tips on how to reach teens through NeoPets and other sites, see ‘Missed opps beyond the banner’ on page B14.

Teen males spend a lot more money on games than females, with 14% citing games as their most likely purchase with any spare cash, compared to only 2% of females.

When it comes to favourite music groups, teen tastes vary wildly from age group to age group and between the genders. As of last October, Destiny’s Child was the number one pick among both males and females, but the choices diverged sharply by gender after that.

According to Youth Culture’s 2001 national survey, ‘Trendscan: Report on Teen Lifestyles,’ 68% of Canadian teens ages 12 to 19 say they like entertainment with violence.

By Duncan Hood with files from Chris Maddever. All figures courtesy of Toronto-based Youth Culture Inc., unless otherwise noted. For a more complete picture of today’s Canadian teen, contact Youth Culture’s director of research, Michele Erskine, at