Survey: Two out of every three Americans plays games

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Playfirst logoPlayFirst, publisher of ubiquitous time-management game Diner Dash, has teamed up with Frank Magid Associates, a research-based consulting firm, to find out more on the state of causal gaming. Casual gaming is -- no surprise -- still growing on almost every possible platform, according to the survey of 2,075 Americans. However, the study also suggests that 80 percent of those 18 to 34-years-old play casual games regularly. That's quite a lot of gamers (and quite a lot of money).

"Casual digital game play has truly become a pervasive part of the American lifestyle now that we can take our games with us anywhere and play them anytime," says Mari Baker, president and CEO of PlayFirst. "The popularity of emotionally engaging casual games is exploding due to the convenience factor mobile and social platforms bring to game players of both genders and all ages."

How pervasive has gaming become in America, exactly? The survey says 80 percent of gamers enjoy playing games more than watching movies, listening to music and reading books, newspapers or magazines. Now, that is huge.Diner Dash
"The face of gaming is evolving to a broader group more representative of the overall population," said president of Magid Advisors Mike Vorhaus. "Gaming is a cross-generational, cross-platform activity that's ubiquitous, yet requires unique and targeted experiences to be successful."

The study suggests that nearly two-thirds (87 percent) of casual gamers play on their PC or Mac computer (what, no love for Linux?). Breaking it down further, half of those surveyed play games on Facebook and only 28 percent play on their smart phones. With most smartphone games being free or just $0.99, it's surprising that this percentage isn't higher.

There also is some considerable overlap between those who play casual games on their computer and on Facebook (since one requires the other to play), but only 14 percent play casual games on all three platforms. Clearly, the push for cross-platform connectivity between Facebook and smartphones isn't unwarranted.

Lastly, preferences in gameplay differ between men and women, according to Frank Magid Associates. The study shows that 90 percent of women rank "entertaining" as the primary consideration when choosing a game while 77 percent look for games that are "easy to understand and play." On the other hand, 79 percent of men seek out games that are "challenging to finish" whereas three in four say that they prefer games that make them feel accomplished.

What happens you combine all of these elements into one game? You get Angry Birds, that's what.

What do you think this data suggests for the future of gaming? Will gaming rise above other media like television and books to become our primary mode of information consumption and entertainment? Tell us in the comments. Add Comment.
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