Women "obsessed" with social games (as long as they're free)

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women are obssessed with farmville -- as long as its freeThere's a loyal army of woman who power Facebook hits such as Farmville. But just how loyal are they?

A new study from Q Interactive and Engage! Expo finds that women, who make up the majority of people who play games on Facebook, MySpace, et al, have become "obsessed" with them (much like this woman), and will continue to play ... as long as they don't have to pay for the privilege.

From the 700 women who were surveyed, 54 percent play daily and 30 percent play weekly. While it's no surprise to see so many ladies embracing games such as FarmVille, it was also interesting to see that 77% of them would give up their games if they went from a free game (with micro-transactions) to a subscription model. Sounds like we have some fair-weather farmers on our hands.

The study, however, didn't ask what women think about paying small sums for premium items in social games. Considering that a company like Zynga raked in millions last year -- and a significant portion of that income is from micro-transactions -- that would make a killer subject for a follow-up study.

See more factoids gleaned from the report after the jump.

Finding: "I Embrace My Inner Gamer!"
- Of those surveyed, 42 percent consider themselves "gamers" and seven
percent deem themselves "obsessed."
- For 67 percent, one to five hours per week is "socially acceptable";
however, 26 percent feel six or more hours per week is socially
- Nearly 45 percent of those surveyed have friends they consider
"obsessed" with social media gaming.
- Approximately 16 percent of those surveyed "hide" or "sometimes hide"
their gaming habits.

Finding: "There are Gaming Faux Pas - But I Set Boundaries for Myself"

- Over two-thirds of those surveyed believe there are "stigmas"
associated with gaming. For those women, the leading stigma is:
- "Games are addictive" (24 percent)
- "Play makes you neglectful of other areas of your life" (21
- "Gaming is a waste of time" (17 percent.)
- Play at work is basically off limits: 93 percent of those surveyed
share they primarily play at home versus work.

Finding: "I Won't Pay - No Matter How Much I Love a Game"
- More than half of women surveyed - 54 percent - "fear" more games will
make gamers pay in the future.
- If forced to pay, 77 percent would give up the game, while:
- 10 percent would prefer a monthly subscription or fee
- 10 percent would prefer a pay-as-I-go system
- Two percent would prefer a separate payment scenario for each game

Finding: "My Kids Are Active in Social Media Gaming - But They are Not Paying"

- Overall kids (children under 18 years old) are connected: 16 percent
of moms say their children have a smart phone.
- According to mom, 40 percent of kids are allowed to play daily, 37
percent weekly, and 10 percent monthly.
- Generally speaking, kids are banned from the wallet: 80 percent are
not allowed to pay for social media gaming.

Are you obsessed with social games? How many hours do you play per week?
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