Casual games study reveals gender divide

According to a new survey, 60 per cent of women who play games don’t think of themselves as “gamers”, compared to 40 per cent of men who “strongly agree” they are gamers.


Flo probably considers herself a gamer.

The online-only study was commissioned by PlayFirst, developers of casual smash hit Diner Dash, who asked people to rank statements on a 1 to 5 scale. The company admits that by conducting the survey online, they may have skewed the results primarily towards a “tech-acclimatised” audience, but claim it was sent to a sample of the general population, rather than just people who play games.

Of the 2075 Americans questioned, two in every three said they played games, and one in three admitted to playing “casual games” on their computers or phones on a regular basis. 80 per cent of the self-confessed gamers preferred gaming to reading, going to the movies or listening to music, and as an interesting point of comparison: women liked games that are “entertaining”, while their male counterparts preferred titles that are “challenging to finish”.

Mike Vorhaus, from surveyors Frank N. Magid Associates, observes:

“The face of gaming is evolving to a broader group more representative of the overall population. Gaming is a cross-generational, cross-platform activity that’s ubiquitous, yet requires unique and targeted experiences to be successful.

So – where are these people playing games? 87% play on PC or Mac, 28% on a smartphone, and 50% of these gamers played something recently on Facebook. The report suggests that just over half of the gamers surveyed play on at least two of the three platforms, with 14% playing a little bit on all three. (The survey’s casual games focus meant that console-only gamers were screened out, but 40% of the PC/Mac, phone or Facebook fans have also played a console game in the past week.)

Mike continues, revealing the true nature of the research:

“Different groups value different things on different platforms, and by honing in on those differences, a multi-platform publisher can further optimize its product strategy.”

…of course.

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