Casual Gaming Prefered To Movies For Many

It might be old news to some, but apparently a growing number of Americans would rather play casual video games like Solitaire and Bejeweled instead of watching television or going to movie theaters, according to a new study commissioned by Real Networks and released by Harris Interactive.

While the study is pretty impressive over all (35 percent of people over 18 prefer games over movie theaters and 31 percent prefer games over television), the numbers were most dramatically seen in older women. Nearly half of women over 40 (49 percent) would rather play casual video games instead of going to a movie theater. Thirty-seven percent of them prefer casual gaming to watching television.

Interestingly enough, the study also found that the same group of women did not like advergames, which typically incorporate brands into the action (“Avoid the evil magazine salespeople and carefully maneuver your paycheck into your Wells Fargo bank account!”).

“Effective advertising in causal games requires an added level of sensitivity,” Shutzler said. “It’s clearly an effective way to reach this important audience, but it can’t disrupt the experience.”

So, how do you do it?

Well, Real Networks has apparently brought in a “women’s lifestyle expert” to help reshape their advertising offerings on the RealArcade service, which boasts a player base that is 68 percent female and 80 percent between the ages of 35 an 64. No word yet on exactly what Real intends to do with their advertising offerings, though.

Anyone have any neat ideas?