New research from ICM Research into the profile of online gamers in the UK has revealed, somewhat surprisingly, that women are just as keen as men on gaming (65 per cent women to 66 per cent men).
Here are some of the findings.
Two in three Facebook gamers are women, with 50 per cent of them between 25 and 45.
15 per cent of people in the UK regularly play Facebook games like Cityville & Words with Friends – and 45 per cent of those play every day, often for up to three hours at a time.
Under 45s of both genders tend to play games to pass the time.
Over 45s, particularly women, are more likely to play games to keep mentally fit.
Contrary to popular general perception, online gambling is least popular among older women.
For older women, the social element of online gaming is really important – they go online to interact with current friends and to make new ones. While the games draw them in, they tend to make repeat visits to chat, socialize or interact with younger family members.
They are open to brand tie-ins and sponsored free games as long as commercial information is integral to the game and doesn’t interrupt them.
They worry about damaging their computers and prefer games they don’t have to download.
Older women are gaming as an alternative to standard entertainment such as TV and puzzle books.
ICM research director Emily Hunt (pictured) says: “Our original focus was on female gamers but the data revealed some interesting new insights into the gaming community as a whole. Qualitatively we learned that there is a general desire to keep active through gaming with most people tending to prefer quick and easy games as opposed to longer, more mission-based games.
“With the growing emphasis on social and digital media, this research has several implications for the marketing and media industries. Overall, it is clear that gaming is equally popular with both genders – so marketers need to take that into account when launching products and planning campaigns, while remaining conscious of the discrete motivations and preferences of different user groups.”