Forget about PC gaming, the new geek chic is social gaming and according to one new report it's women and divorcees who are leading the way.
The latest Global Web Index has identified that the most addicted social gaming players do not fit the typical geeky teenage boy computer gamer stereotype. instead, social gaming would appear to appeal more to people with large families, women and divorcees.
Certainly social gaming is revolutionising the gaming market by engaging with a more diverse and larger audience, and by so doing it's making something of an impact on the game types that are typically being produced within this genre.
The majority of respondents here in the UK at least, some 54 percent, claimed that playing games was a main reason for them using the Internet. Globally, online games are competing head-on with PC games with 28 percent of users playing online games and 24 percent playing casual games on a social network. The survey also reveals that 27 percent of women are inclined to play online games and social games compared to just 22 percent of men.
The survey showed that:
Women play more than men (50 percent vs 41 percent)
Divorcees play more than single users (63 percent vs 41 percent)
Large families are much more likely to play, 56 percent of users with three or more children and 50 percent of users with two children play social games while only 43 percent of respondents with no children are players
Half of the most active users, those who spend more than four hours per day online, play social games
People working in media, marketing and advertising play more than respondents working in IT, Internet and software and computer services (57 percent vs 43 percent)
Tom Smith, Managing Director of Trendstream who led the research, says "women are particularly attracted to short, casual games involving an active community like Farmville, Cafe Wars or Pet Society. Women also spend more time on social networks in general. Social games are accessible, free and they don't take up much time. Plus they are distributed through the network, which is a key factor driving their take up. The transformation of the gaming market towards casual social concepts has already changed the way that games are created and distributed. The market is now much more open to anyone who wants to create games. This gives brands a huge opportunity to engage with consumers through casual games much more cost efficiently than through advertising".
This is not surprising. Think about it. Back in the day (20-30 years ago), computer games were mostly used by certain type of behavioral demographics - asocial adolescent boys. Then it shifted... and shifted.. and shifted.. to now divorced women who may feel left out socially due to change of marriage focused relationships and now feel welcome in online games.
Yes it does not surprise me either. I think it has to do with a way to keep the mind occupied and a form of diversion from the failed marriage. Also, I wonder if at any point during that study the socio-economic background and the education of those studied was taken into account. Coming from a very LARGE poor family I can guarantee that it may have some effects. For example, I have a college education, so does my sister and two of my cousins, out of 26 grandchildren. Neither of us are big into gaming or even playing the lotto. We work hard in our respective careers in order to offer our children a better future. YET, the family members who do not possess "the" degree rely on daily lotto games, horseback racing bets, occasional Bingo tournaments in hopes of hitting the big one. I may be wrong, but I think this is one thing someone should take into consideration when these studies take place.