Online Games Second Only to Board Games?

A new nationwide survey of 1,000 adults finds that some 24 percent of respondents ranked online games as the “most rewarding to you,” handily beating packaged software games (18 percent), TV game shows (15 percent), and the still-emerging mobile game market (3 percent). Only board games ranked higher than online game choices, with some 39 percent of respondents saying they find board games most rewarding.

The survey also found gender differences among respondents, with women only half as likely as mend to enjoy packaged software games, but more likely to prefer both online games and television game shows.

“Men play to get revved up, and women play to wind down,” said Lynn D’Alessandro, Vice President of Vendare Media’s Traffic Marketplace division. “That’s why men are more likely to become totally immersed in packaged games with complex sets of rules, and women disproportionately flock to casual gaming sites for a quick game of Zuma or Wheel of Fortune. Casual games are a source of relaxation that women can fit in around their many responsibilities at work and at home. And because women associate gaming with ‘me time,’ gaming sites can be an effective way for advertisers to reach them.”

The survey found other differences related to age and ethnicity. The 18-24 age group was the only set to find packaged software games more appealing than online games or board games, and non-white respondents where nearly twice as likely to prefer packaged software games, and less likely to participate in online gaming.

And, amusingly, full-time employees were more than twice as likely to prefer online gaming as the self-employed.

The survey was conducted by the market research firm Synovate for the casual gaming site Uproar, a brand of Vendare Media, which runs online games including Bejeweled, Zuma, Wheel of Fortune, and Jeopardy.

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