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Women Over 40 Biggest Online Gamers 78

Posted by simoniker
from the lies-and-damned-statistics dept.
Ooby writes "MSNBC and Reuters are reporting that women over 40 are the biggest online gamers, according to a study conducted by AOL. What's even more interesting than being outnumbered by middle aged and older women is this: 'More than a quarter of those women, the survey found, play their favorite games between midnight and 5 a.m. Women in the poll tended to favor word and puzzle games.' I thought that was prime time for FPS kids."
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Women Over 40 Biggest Online Gamers

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  • "Word games" (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Yert (25874) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <3dnalragmm>> on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @12:37PM (#8249679)
    Literati [yahoo.com] is HUGE between midnight and 4am Central Time. It's packed, and words like "nodosity" (109 pts. yay, me.) fly across the board.

    Of course, I'm nowhere near 40 -or- female, and prefer CounterStrike, but hey, gotta stimulate the brain once in a while, right?
  • Sure is (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    i know a bunch of old ladies that are addicted to Pogo.com, Yahoo games, ect...
    • Re:Sure is (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @01:01PM (#8249906)
      i know a bunch of old ladies that are addicted to Pogo.com, Yahoo games, ect...

      It's sad, but I have to raise my hand too. Since I bought my mother a computer several years ago she's become a fanatical "online gamer". She started off with a Bingo game on Yahoo which moved to Pogo.com I believe, then she started playing other games like some balloon popit game. Then she really started getting into it heavy when she moved on to using Yahoo Messenger WITH voice and camera. This is a 65 year old grandmother I'm talking about chatting on Yahoo Messenger like she's a 14 year old freshman. WTF? Why can't I have a normal mother that just bakes cookies instead of talking to dirty old men on the Internet? (she's a widow).

  • by Mordant (138460) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @12:38PM (#8249685)
    Man, that explains why that choad who keeps kicking my ass at CounterStrike uses 'MrsRobinson' as her handle, and keeps making off-the-wall references to Botox and estrogen therapy while she's fragging my ass into oblivion!
  • by bartjan (197895) <`ten.knileirv' `ta' `najtrab'> on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @12:41PM (#8249719) Homepage

    "The survey was conducted online with 3,613 respondents between mid-December and mid-January, the company said."

    I guess they forgot to mention that the survey was only open between midnight and 5 a.m. during that period and placed only on webpages containing word games and puzzles?

    • by fireduck (197000) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @12:53PM (#8249829)
      AOL. I have no idea exactly how it was conducted, other than "online", but I'd be surprised if they surveyed people other than AOL users. Sure, AOL is the biggest ISP, and you'd expect a large number of gamers, but the truly hardcore would have moved off AOL a long time ago and gotten broadband. So what are you left with? The casual gamers for whom low latency performance is not an issue (i.e., people playing at yahoo games). So it's not surprising that it's mostly women in that sample group...
      • by fireduck (197000) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @01:00PM (#8249898)
        here [aoltimewarner.com]

        so it wasn't run through AOL, but an outside firm, which probably got a more representative sample.

        But, there's lots of interesting statistics to go through. such as "Nearly Twice as Many Adults Have Played Internet Games for More than Eight Consecutive Hours than Teenagers"
        • But, there's lots of interesting statistics to go through. such as "Nearly Twice as Many Adults Have Played Internet Games for More than Eight Consecutive Hours than Teenagers"

          That would be because you only get to be a teen for 10 years whereas you get to be an adult from 20-Death. There are WAY more adults than teens in the world. Way more than double. I hate it when they give stats with no context.
          • "But, there's lots of interesting statistics to go through. such as "Nearly Twice as Many Adults Have Played Internet Games for More than Eight Consecutive Hours than Teenagers"

            That would be because you only get to be a teen for 10 years whereas you get to be an adult from 20-Death. There are WAY more adults than teens in the world. Way more than double. I hate it when they give stats with no context."


            Well noted. In fact, you only get to be a teenager for 7 years (13 to 19). With the life expectancy
      • But can we really trust AOL w/ these type of polls/rankings? Remember a few years back when they stated Cindy Margolis as the most downloaded... when none of us have ever heard of her?
  • My Ma (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Codger (96717) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @12:42PM (#8249727)
    My 76-year-old mother has been a gamer for years, since she got her first Atari game console. When I helped her set up her new eMac a couple months ago, one of the first things she had me do was transfer all her old classic games over from her old Mac. She likes puzzle and card games the most, but she's been known to play blow-em-ups as well.
    • Too true. My Mom had me move the Atari to the kitchen so she could play Pitfall and Pac Man between chores. She was probably the only person who ever really *enjoyed* 2600 Pac Man. Now that she's on the Internet, it's all about PopCap. Whenever they visit us, I have to spend a day cleaning all the downloaded crap off my machine.
    • Re:My Ma (Score:4, Interesting)

      by pr0c (604875) * on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @01:34PM (#8250325)
      Same here.. I setup linux on my mom's machine because she was sick of windows crashing (win98) and didn't want to upgrade to winxp. All she was worried about was her flash and java games and the little games like solitare etc. Linux comes with way more little games than windows so its perfect for women like her I suppose.
  • by schnits0r (633893) <nathannd@sas[ ]l.net ['kte' in gap]> on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @12:42PM (#8249734) Homepage Journal
    I tinhk you misunderstood what they mean by "biggest".
  • Percentage (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ParticleGirl (197721) <SlashdotParticleGirl AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @12:44PM (#8249752) Journal
    What percentage of the overall survey participants were women over 40? Because these findings state that a higher percentage of women over 40 play games daily than the interviewed men or teens. So if in their survey of 3500 people there are only 100 women over 40, but most of them play games all the time, it doesn't mean that they outnumber the men or teens. It just means that, if women over 40 are online, or gamers, or computer literate (we don't know what the universe of the survey is-- did they interview everyone in a games forum somewhere? Call random households? Send email to people with AOL accounts?) they're very likely to play wordgames in the wee hours of the morning.

    Be careful with statistics. Especially if you're trying to figure out if you're outnumbered [yet].
  • by philthedrill (690129) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @12:47PM (#8249783)
    My first thought was, "<neo>Woah</neo>" until I read the article. The first thought that comes to my mind when someone says "gamer" is someone who plays an FPS or RTS, but with "games" defined in the much broader sense, this is less shocking (although the late hours are somewhat of a surprise). Plus, most computers can play these games without the latest hardware or fastest connection.
    • by *weasel (174362) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @01:24PM (#8250177)
      Exactly - when they include puzzle, card and word-games in your 'online gaming' survey, they're going to get results that are going to be used disingenuously.

      This is analogous to suggesting that women play the majority of 'games' in real life, because the number of female Bridge clubs vastly outweighs the gender seperation in professional athletics.

      The qualification of 'online game' to begin with is the problem.

      No-one would likely argue that there is a gender distribution in free low-tech online games roughly consistent with population distribution overall.

      The interesting question of 'women in games' is: why aren't women playing console games, massmogs, multiplayer strategy/fps/rpg/etc?

      Truly, what end does this survey tell us? That women aren't afraid of the computer or the internet? Did anyone ever assert that being technophobes is responsible for the gender gap in commercial gaming?

      Simply, there are more people playing poker on yahoo games alone than are playing counterstrike. There are vastly more people who play games on AOL than all massmogs combined. The male-dominated games become statistically insignificant when the net is cast this wide. Particularly when they obviate distinctions between gamers willing to pay for games, pay monthly for games, and deal with 3d cards and driver updates to play online games.

      Again, the only questions that are interesting are: where are the women in commercial online gaming, and why aren't they showing up?

      and this survey answers neither.
  • by kaellinn18 (707759) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @12:51PM (#8249808) Homepage Journal
    Maybe it's because women over 40 are the only ones gullible enough to be using AOL? :-) Here come the flamebait mods!!
  • Wake up.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AutumnLeaf (50333) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @12:56PM (#8249863)
    and smell the coffee. There is a huge game community on the internet that has nothing to do with frags, and it's bigger than the frag-oriented community. Friendlier too. And literate. Th3y can sp311, and form complete sentences.

    • w4t do3s 'l1t3r4te' m34n?
    • Online bridge (Score:4, Insightful)

      by scot4875 (542869) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @06:23PM (#8253805) Homepage
      I play a lot of bridge on-line, and while you're right that players can mostly spell (when the occasion arises), I think they're just as bad when it comes to complete sentences.

      Most conversations go about like:

      hi all, need 1 more?
      wlc
      glp
      wdo, gtp
      sry p

      Which is about as verbose as most other online games I've participated in over the last 8-9 years. (God, has it been that long?)

      --Jeremy
  • Sims Online (Score:4, Funny)

    by mhesseltine (541806) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @12:56PM (#8249865) Homepage Journal

    For some reason, women love the Sims games. More than likely, they're up at all hours running their little Sims' lives.

    I guess that keeps them from running our lives, though. </flamebait>

    • For some reason, women love the Sims games. More than likely, they're up at all hours running their little Sims' lives.

      I love the Sims too though and I'm a guy. I don't have any of those wacky expansion packs, just the original I bought a few years ago to try out though. I'm probably similar to the majority of guys playing that game though: Get the house with the two women in it, greet, talk, compliment, talk, compliment, talk, compliment, hug, give a backrub, hug, hug, hug, talk, compliment, give a gi

    • I guess that keeps them from running our lives, though.

      They're just practicing, honing up their skills. Then, when it comes time for you, you have no chance.
  • by bmyers (643397) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @01:07PM (#8249953)
    My wife was in a sewing class the other day, and two of the other four women there were online gamers -- one (19 yrs old) played DAOC and the other (mid 50's) played Ultima Online. They said they play for many hours per week.

    I'm not sure if it's statistically significant, but a 50% gamer ratio at a sewing class has gotta mean something!

  • Big deal (Score:4, Insightful)

    by IshanCaspian (625325) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @01:16PM (#8250058) Homepage
    Middle-aged women have always been playing card games, bored games, etc. Now they don't play scrabble with the neighbors, they do it with strangers on the internet.

    Real gaming is interesting to me because it's something new, or at least a significant transformation. There's nothing surprising or interesting about learning that middle aged women are taking their solitaire games online. Yawn.
  • by kisrael (134664) * on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @01:18PM (#8250097) Homepage
    Coolest "non-gamer" online game:
    isketch [isketch.net], which is basically Pictionary in an online/chatroom setting. It picks a sketcher, gives 'em a word, and then awards points based on who gets it first. I love games that are creative as well as addictive.
  • by JavaLord (680960) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @01:28PM (#8250232) Journal
    women over 40 are the biggest online gamers, according to a study conducted by AOL.

    Most serious gamers wouldn't be on AOL, and most likely would be on a local ISP or some type of broadband.

    What's even more interesting than being outnumbered by middle aged and older women is ..

    Not really, since the study is skewed by only surveying AOL'ers who tend not to be or use AOL for online gaming. AOL online gamers may mostly be middle aged women, but that doesn't mean all online gamers are mostly middle aged women.

    It would be like doing a study in a urban area, like say Detroit and from those statistics trying to prove all of America is a ghetto. It just doesn't fit.

    midnight and 5 a.m. Women in the poll tended to favor word and puzzle games.' I thought that was prime time for FPS kids."

    of course, because male or female, old or young, if they wanted to play a FPS, MMO, etc they would migrate off of AOL to a local dialup where they would get better bandwidth, or more likely to a broadband connection

    Attempt to do this study to comcast, speakeasy, roadrunner, etc and you will end up with the typical 18-30 year old males being the most common type of gamer. It would be interesting to see the genre breakdown though.
    • by American AC in Paris (230456) * on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @01:57PM (#8250620) Homepage
      ...you're assuming that AOL only surveyed it's user base. That's probably not the case. Most of the articles I've seen regarding cite several thousand participants in a nationwide, online survey; it makes no mention that the survey was restricted to AOL's subscriber base. (I haven't yet managed to find the report itself--please set me straight if I'm wrong on this.)

      Just because AOL is doing the study doesn't mean they're only polling their own users. After all, a political pollster will (usually) want everybody's opinion, whether or not that person says they're of the same political party as the candidate who's doing the poll...

  • Picture middle aged women everywhere yelling "200 Frags Per Hour, woohoo!"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @01:52PM (#8250556)
    The AOL press release is here [aoltimewarner.com]. The precis: women over 40 who play games are more likely to play for extended time periods than gamers from other demographics. This does not mean that 15-year-old CounterStrike players are "outnumbered by middle aged and older women" playing PopCap.

    The survey itself was conducted by Digital Marketing Services, a joint AOL/MARC Research company that does online opinion survey research. Although online polls suffer from various biases, the OpinionPlace.com [opinionplace.com] polls use pre-interview demo weights to help reduce some of those skews. (Though my doubts are not, of course, dissipated by their reassurances.)

    Finally, candidate for "most disturbing graf" must be this:

    Despite busy schedules, female gamers over 40 make time for their preferred hobby. Twenty-eight percent of them play games between midnight and 5:00 a.m., considerably more than men or teenage game-players. In fact, nearly half of these women (44 percent) said that they spend less time watching TV or movies, reading, exercising or spending time outside as a result of their online gaming habits.
    -Watchful Babbler (where's that damned account password?)
  • Biggest? (Score:2, Funny)

    by heliocentric (74613) *
    Biggest Online Gamers

    Great, so they are old, but do you really have to call them "fat," too?
  • My statistic (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by Tom7 (102298)
    I'd say that humans over 0 are the biggest online gamers.
  • The Survey (Score:3, Funny)

    by ReciprocityProject (668218) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @02:45PM (#8251297) Homepage Journal
    Earn 20,000,000,000 FREE hours of AOL! Before you can sign on, please just fill out this short survey. The information you provide will help us better serve you!

    1. Compared to men or teens, how much time do 40 year old women spend playing online games?
    o 0-10% More
    o 11-20% More
    o 21-30% More
    o 31-40% More
    o 41-50% More
    o 51-60% More

    2. Are 40 year old women, on average, more likely to play online games than men or teens?
    o Yes
    o No
    o Note Sure

    3. Do 40 year old women convert their online relationships into real-life relationships, if they in fact have any online relationships?
    o Yes
    o No
    o Note Sure

    4. Are you a 40 year old woman?
    o Yes
    o No
    o Not Sure

    5. Have you or do you plan to respond to this survey?
    o Yes
    o No
    o Not Sure

    6. If you answered yes to the above two questions, do you spend less time watching TV or movies, reading or being physically active because of your online game play?
    o Yes
    o No
    o Not Sure
    o I did not answer yes to the above two questions
    o I'm not sure if I answered yes to the above two questions

    7. Who is conducting this survey?
    o Services for Digital Marketing
    o Digital Marketing Services
    o Marketing Services, Digital
    o Marketing Digital Services

    8. When do you prefer to play online games?
    o Midnight - 1:00 AM
    o 1:00 AM - 2:00 AM
    o 2:00 AM - 3:00 AM
    o 3:00 AM - 4:00 AM
    o 4:00 AM - 5:00 AM

    9. Which of the following cities strikes you as most "game happy:"
    o Chicago and New York
    o San Francisco and Orlando
    o Atlanta and Boston
    o Paris and Berlin

    10. (Last question) How many people are responding to this survey?
    o 12,214
    o 15
    o 1,243
    o 7,654
    o 3,613

    11 (We lied) This survey was conducted between:
    o Mid-December and mid-January
    o Early December and early January
    o Late December and late January
  • What are we talking about, here, like 250, 300 pounds?

    I'm really sorry. I couldn't help it.
  • www.gamermilfs.com The hottest gamer babes over 40....ready to play with your joystick.
  • by eviljolly (411836) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @03:55PM (#8252110) Journal
    "The survey was conducted online with 3,613 respondents between mid-December and mid-January, the company said."

    But while we are playing our fps games (ad free), the women are online playing their web based games and suddenly this window pops up asking them to take a survey. Of course the it's going to be a little biased.
    • Taking this one step further, did the survey pool consist solely of AOL users? I'm thinking that based on the information in the article (chat-room activity and online romance included) that this is indicative of an AOL-biased report.

      On the other hand, this would also show a broader base of AOL users than the typical 10-year-old boy.

    • I just had an image flash before my eyes of a 3wave Capture strike game where the red team burts into the blue base to find the blue players standing or sitting around the flag holding survey forms and sucking a pen.... "sarge - can I put this flag down?" "has anyone got anything to lean on?" "oh bugger the flags gone.."
  • Yep, Survey is BS. (Score:5, Informative)

    by JavaLord (680960) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @04:02PM (#8252188) Journal
    AOL got opinionplace.com [opinionplace.com] to do the survey for them. Now if you look behind the BS that opinionplace and AOL throw at you about how "scientific" their data is, go to the opinion palace webpage and check out their FAQ. They give people AADVANTAGE miles for every survey they fill out. What are AAdvantage miles? They are American Airlines miles used twards getting a discount on flights.

    This skews the data in all sorts of wierd ways, starting with the people taking it are the types who would sign up for such programs on the internet. Not to mention, how many 15 year old males care about Frequent flyer miles? Hell, how many savvy internet users would give their personal information up for some survey scam?

    The conclusion drawn from this survey should be "Women over 40 are more likely to have gator installed on their machine and participate in stupid online surveys for some minimal payoff".....ok maybe that was a bit harsh....

    If there is one truth about statistics in general, it's that if you play around with the numbers enough you can make surveys say whatever you want.
  • You mean those people who say "dun shoot me hun LOL" on shooters ARE actually women?
  • Twenty-eight percent of them play games between midnight and 5:00 a.m., considerably more than men or teenage game-players.

    Well, yeah. Midnight to 5:00 a.m. is pr0n time for those other demographics.

    --Jeremy

  • The title omits units, so perhaps both?
  • FPS Kids? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Inominate (412637) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @07:40PM (#8254442)
    The late night going-to-bed-at-dawn players aren't the FPS kids. It's the people who go that far out of thier way to avoid them.
  • if I want to fulfill those fantasies about hot older women, I need to brush up on the Literati and Conasta Skillz?

    LK
  • The videogame industry won't care, mainly because they don't have a way to make those over 40 women to buy a PS2/GC/Xbox to have them play "scrabble Xtreme" or whatever.

    Nintendo has been trying to expand the market, with Animal Crossing and the Mario Party games which, while not geared towards women, are appealing to everybody. The Sims are big in this also.

    But that it is. Since there is a big supply of online games that aim to this segment,W>40 (Yahoo, etc), there is no way EA can milk some big bucks
  • Something to keep in mind is that 64% of all statistics are made up.

Going the speed of light is bad for your age.

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