Whether they are sitting at the computer or on the soccer sidelines with their mobile phones, women are hard-core online gamers.
Does a co-worker complain about lack of sleep? Ask her what her highest score was last night. Women play more games online, both at their PC and on their mobile phones. That’s the conclusion of two recent studies, one from Macrovision, which owns the Trymedia games network, and the other from Parks Associates.
Macrovision’s Trymedia Network got 789 people to stop playing on Trygames.com long enough to fill in some blanks. They found that, in an average week, mainstream game-players sign on for nine or more sessions and two-thirds of them stay for an hour, while 31% say they play for longer than two hours a session. Rather than play during the day, when the boss could pop-up like a spam ad, 73% go online at night. Almost half (48%) wait until "they have the house to themselves." Slightly more than half (55%) of the respondents said they play games on the weekend, which is presumably when they pursue their other interests: pets, travel, arts & crafts, shopping and gardening.
Who is doing Diner Dash 2 and MahJong? Seven out of ten (71%) are women and 58% have no children under age 18 living in their households. More than two-thirds prefer puzzle games (67%), while card games are a distant second (44%). Strategy and action games appeal to slightly more than a third of Trymedia’s respondents, at 35% and 34%, respectively.
But these PC gamers aren’t stuck to one game. Some 30% have downloaded more than 21 games in the past year, a feat made easier because 84% have home broadband connections. They don’t just play online, however: 67% of them read game reviews, and of that group, 46% are influenced enough to try to buy the game. Advertisers take note: 70% of the respondents were hooked enough to purchase a game after first playing it free of charge, when they are forced to sit through a sponsor’s video ad while the game is downloading.
Perhaps the soccer mom wants to play her own games as she sits on the sidelines at her kids’ practices. These mobile gamers are no less hard-core than their stationary counterparts, according to Parks Associates. Of the 2,000 gamers surveyed, 59% were women, and 61% of them play mobile phone games for about one to four hours every month. Almost as many, 58%, say they play mobile games for more than four hours each month.
"Women are the foundation of the gaming market, and as an industry, we need to cater to their preferences," said John Barrett, director of research at Parks Associates.
Like the PC gamers, mobile game genres break out by gender, according to a Telephia study conducted in the first quarter of this year. Women prefer puzzle and card games on their tiny screens, at 72% and 66%, respectively. By far, men go for action and adventure games (60%) over sports and racing games (39%), followed by classic arcade games (38%).