2006-10-03

70% of casual gamers are females 40+ years old

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"Quality" analysis and reporting not at all influenced by marketing or complete rubbish?.
70% of casual gamers are females 40+ years old by ZDNet's ZDNet Research -- "“Middle-aged" women rule the $458 mln US online casual game market, Real Networks and PopCap found. 70% of casual gamers are females over the age of 40.

Are these just lies fudged for marketing?

I can't see how this is a ZDNet research article, when they refer to a Yahoo article that clearly refers to separatete research done by RealNetworks Inc. and PopCap Games. RealNetworks doesn't provide any ready access to such research that I could find. PopCap Games has a press release which describe the survey conducted by Information Solutions Group who appear to be nothing more than a web page hosting company, which is probably just a company with the same name. Yellow pages has "Information Solutions Group 425-373-1111, 227 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue, WA 98004" but no URL. Odd for an internet research company not to have a web presence.

This alleged "research" has been cited a number of times from many different web sites: Gamasutra, Lexdon, GamePlanet, GameDaily, etc.

The articles also refer to Dr Carl Arinoldo who apparently is an author. Amazon tells me he may not be a doctor, or published before his got his PhD. He has two books on their list: How to Control Your Eating and Essentials of Smart Parenting. If he was a psychologist for 25 years I would have thought that he would have been using the "Dr" for his books. Maybe amazon strip off titles like "Dr". I found 3 articles recorded in PsychInfo by a Carlo Arinoldo, but nothing else. Not very prolific (or I am looking in the wrong places).

Many of the articles say "Leading publisher and developer of casual titles, PopCap Games" and also "leading market research firm Information Solutions Group". Firstly I have an issue about the definition of "casual games" and then that PopCap Games is the leader of said game genre. Secondly, how is Information Solutions Group a "leading" market research firm? I can't even find the buggers. What does "leading" mean?

Now for the results. It is all crap, or at least the interpretation of the results by ridiculous media organisations like ZDNet are crap. To start with, the survey was biased towards females; of the 2191 totarespondentsts, 528 were male and 1,663 were female. Comparisons between gender would have to be done exceedingly carefully, which Arinoldo would have done, I'm sure. If you look at the press reports that cover the numbers well enough (like Lexdon) you will see that all sorts of interesting information can be extracted from the results, but not what the ZDNet is masturbating over. The media headlines highlight the lack of education of the reporters. Or the deceptive intent of marketing.

To me this sounds like an attempt to market advertising space to companies that would like to target the 40+ year old female group. Possibly even selling some PopCap games to companies who focus on this demographic. I have nothing to back this up, it is just my feeling.

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