POSTED BY Stacy DeBroff AT 10:50 AM
For so long, the mere mention of online or video games conjured up images of teens battling for gaming superiority in their family basement or 20-something men creating elaborate role-playing scenarios over the hottest new gaming releases.
But today, the gaming demographic has morphed considerably, with Moms representing the new face of gaming. A new Mom Central survey of 1,200 Moms reveals that approximately 70% of women are casual gamers.
- Moms play computer, online, mobile, and video games by themselves an average of 5 hours a week
- Moms spend an additional 3 hours a week playing computer, video, online, mobile, and video games with their kids
- 52% of Moms play games at home
- 34% of Moms play on gaming consoles such as PlayStation, Xbox 360, etc., by themselves
- 34% of Moms regularly play games on their cell phones
- 29% of Moms turn to games while waiting for kids or in line at a store
The reason for the shift? Increasingly, Moms have discovered that casual games fit easily into their busy lives. Most Moms juggle childcare, household responsibilities, family healthcare duties, work and volunteer obligations, pet care, financial management, care of aging parents, and much more. Because these games can be quickly launched from an app or Facebook, they offer Moms an easy way to unwind and play a fast game while in the midst of a chaotic day – even if it’s a respite of 5 to 15 minutes.
Moms, too, have discovered that their ever-present Smartphones, iPads, laptops, and computers serve as the ideal vehicle for a break in the action with such games as the New Orleans-themed Bayou Blast, the numbers-focused Drop 7, and the interactive word-building game, Words with Friends.
With 56% of Moms playing on gaming consoles with their kids, Moms have also realized an added benefit of casual games – the opportunity to interact with their digital natives in their world. Today, kids appear increasingly ensconced in an electronic cocoon – spending on average 12 hours a week engaged with technology and 8 hours on the weekend. By joining kids in their gaming passions, parents have the opportunity to break through the cocoon and meet kids in the “digital middle.”
Families can also take advantage of the interactivity, speed, and intensity of online games and put a digital twist on traditional board game activities. In years past, families sat down at the kitchen table on a Friday evening for a game of Monopoly, Clue, or Life. Today, families can gather around a gaming console or laptop and play digital versions of board games such as Apples to Apples, Yahtzee, or Risk; activity-oriented games like Wii bowling or Kinect Adventures; and Facebook games like Bayou Blast.
Regardless of if casual games provide a much-needed break for busy Moms or offer up a weekend family activity, look for Moms to continue dominating this category as they reach for their phones, iPads, laptops, and computers.
For more information on Moms and the Rise of Casual Gaming, check out Stacy’s recent appearance on New England Cable News.
Disclosure: GameHouse, the manufacturer of Bayou Blast, is a client of Mom Central Consulting.