US Video Game Study Reveals Casual Gaming Trends

Here’s something that you do not see everyday, a renowned iPhone game developer, PlayFirst Inc, in collaboration with Frank N. Magid Associates Inc, a leading market research and consulting firm, engaging in some form of video game research,  in this case a study of digital game play behaviour across the three major platform for casual games: social networks, mobile and computer games. And the findings below, taken from the press release, prove to be really interesting:

The proprietary national study reveals that two thirds of American adults play some type of digital game, and one out of three regularly play casual games on social networks, smartphones, or computer platforms. Additionally, amongst game players, nearly 80% of those 18-34 play casual games regularly and fully 80% say they enjoy playing games more than watching movies, listening to music, and reading books, newspapers, or magazines. Breaking down the data further reveals three key trends:

  • Cross-platform play is making casual gaming an ‘anytime, anywhere’ experience.
  • While digital gaming is becoming ubiquitous, different age and gender groups have distinctly different attitudes and preferences.
  • Social networking and social gaming are stealing time away from traditional videogames.

The Rise of Cross-platform Game Play

With the extraordinary growth in mobile applications and social networks, casual digital game play has proliferated to the point that it is truly an ‘anytime, anywhere’ experience and a majority of game players enjoy their games on more than one platform. Specifically:

  • 87% play games on PC/Mac platforms
  • 50% play games on Facebook
  • 28% play games on Smartphones
  • 52% play on at least two of the three platforms
  • 14% play on all three platforms

Attitudes Vary by Gender

The research also reveals some striking gender-based attitudinal differences toward digital gameplay:

  • When it comes to gameplay, 90% of women rank ‘entertaining’ and 77% rank ‘easy to understand and play’ as their preferred game elements. For men, the two highest preferred game elements are ‘challenging to finish’ (79%) and ‘makes me feel like I accomplished something’ (75%).
  • Facebook game players are more likely to be millennial women, where as iPhone game player are more likely to be young men.
  • While women play a lot of games, it’s an activity rather than part of their identity: nearly 60% of female players don’t consider themselves a “gamer”.
  • Men have no problem with the label “gamer” as nearly 40% of men who play games strongly agree they are gamers.
  • More then two in five (42%) of women prefer games they can play while multi-tasking, whereas well over half (58%) of men prefer games with state-of-the-art graphics and technology.


“Casual digital game play has truly become a pervasive part of the American lifestyle now that we can take our games with us anywhere and play them anytime,” said Mari Baker, president and CEO of PlayFirst. “The popularity of emotionally engaging casual games is exploding due to the convenience factor mobile and social platforms bring to game players of both genders and all ages.”

“The face of gaming is evolving to a broader group more representative of the overall population,” said Mike Vorhaus, president of Magid Advisors, a unit of Frank N. Magid Associates. “Gaming is a cross-generational, cross-platform activity that’s ubiquitous, yet requires unique and targeted experiences to be successful. 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.”

About the Study

The national survey of 2,075 respondents, including males and females ages 18 and over, was conducted between June 4–12, 2010 and roughly mirrors the US population in age and gender. The study was conducted by Frank N. Magid Associates, Inc., a leading research-based strategic consulting firm that helps clients become profitable by solving problems and helping them take advantage of opportunities. Magid brings unique frameworks for solving problems and seizing opportunities to each engagement, all informed and driven by unparalleled consumer and stakeholder research, market knowledge, and experience-based perspectives. To view the accompanying details and findings of this study, visit:

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  1. September 28, 2010

    Nine Over Ten 9/10 » US Video Game Study Reveals Casual Gaming Trends…

    Here’s something that you do not see everyday, a renowned iPhone game developer, PlayFirst Inc, in collaboration with Frank N. Magid Associates Inc, a leading market research and consulting firm, engaging in some form of video game research, in this ca…

  2. […] that’s definitely appealing to groups of all ages, backgrounds, and expertise with gaming. 1 in 3 American adults now plays some form of casual game, and of those, 80% in the 18-34 age range play them regularly. Astounding. As I fall somewhere […]