Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Is increase in gaming popularity among females and older players attributable to minigames on mobile devices?

I found the following infographic very interesting.  Apparently I am no longer in the minority as an older female who enjoys gaming although I simply don't have the average 18 hours per week to spend gaming.  I think the motion aspect of the Wii accounts for not only the popularity of the Wii but the significant growth in attracting older players like me who are bored with traditional exercise strategies but easily lose ourselves in a game that uses body motion to accomplish game objectives.  This attraction is also reflected in the list of most popular games of all time topped by Wii Sports.

I do wish they would have included smartphones in the mobile analysis though.  I have probably spent more time playing games on my iPhone than on my Wii just because I am often stuck waiting in doctors' offices or similar environments and find the games on my iPhone to be just the ticket to make the time pass.  Although iFishing is one of my favorites, being raised here in the Northwest where I grew up fishing the streams along the Oregon coast and Pacific ocean as a child, I also like history-themed games and have been playing Slitherine's "The Tudors."  I also bought the Sims' World Adventures although I must be honest and say I get really irritated with having to keep track of the Sims needs to go to the bathroom.  I think that level of detail is more tedious than entertaining.  I also like hidden object games in historical environments too.  I love the visuals and the short mini-game nature of the challenge especially since I am using these games to fill a relatively small time slot.

It would be interesting to have a breakdown of the average 18 hours spent gaming to see if the types of games people are playing are more of the short term mini-game variety played intermittently through the week or whether more intricate complex games are being played in longer dedicated sessions.  I think this information coupled with a parallel analysis of age groups would be helpful to game designers wishing to address the maximum target audience.  I'm also curious about whether the introduction of minigames through app stores increasingly available through a plethora of devices is ratcheting up the gaming statistics in both females and the older age groups now.

Videogame Statistics
Source: Online Education
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