Thursday, October 18, 2007

Online casual gaming a female pastime

Let me warn you beforehand. First: this posting is about a market survey. And as you know market surveys do not reflect reality, but they might confirm the impression you had about a certain subject. Second: this is about a market survey among women and has nothing to do with emancipation or women’s lib.

Last week I received a press release from Zylom, part of RealNetworks. It is a (casual) game portal and a leading producer and distributor of online games in Europe. Monthly 10 million people play games, ranging from word games to Sudoku, from puzzle games such as Majhong. No less than 80 percent of the visitors are women and older than 22 years of age. That calls for a market survey.

So a marketing bureau was asked to do a survey in the Netherlands. According to the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics, there are 6.262.449 women above 18 years in the Netherlands over against 6.138.440 men above 18 years. The marketing bureau selected 1001 women; a curious figure as it relates to the stories told during the 1001 Arabian nights.

The first conclusion of the market survey is that female gamers or gameHers are prominent in online gaming. Online gaming is not just a pastime for men. In the Netherlands 86 percent of the women do play online occasionally. Projected this is half a million more women than men.

The women were also asked to rank their favourite activity out of thirteen listed ones. The front number indicates the ranking in the list of thirteen activities:
1. Reading (18%)
2. Watching television (14%)
3. Online gaming (12%)
8. Sex (6%)

Does this say anything about the Group of respondents? The survey demonstrated that the majority of the gameHers was older than 25 years and 11 percent was only younger than 25 years. In fact 31 percent of the gaming women is 55 years or older. And they do spend time on games. No less than 28 percent spent one to three hours a week online and 38 percent tops the three hour a week milestone easily

The researchers have identified three types of gameHers:
a. Lara Switch-Offs. Forget the overactive and aggressive Lara Croft. The majority (73 percent) female gamers play regularly online games to relax. Lara Switch-offs log in to enjoy a moment for themselves.
b. Davina Codes. The Davina Codes like to puzzle and crack codes. Dan Brown's DaVinci Code would be easy fort hem as online puzzles are addictive.
c. Brain Fonda. This Group of women believes that games and puzzles keep their mind active and in shape. One third of the respondents game to keep their brains fit.

One thing is clear: women can not be typecast any longer as technophobes and games are no longer just toys for the boys.

Blog Posting Number: 898


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