Mom Gamers Speak Up at Casual Connect 2011
As many of you can attest to, women over 35 comprise the largest demographic of casual gamers in the world. These women aren’t just gaming on their PC or Mac at home. Many of these women are branching out to other gaming platforms including mobile, social, and browser based.
Owais Farooqui led a panel of five women gamers this afternoon at Casual Connect. The panel was asked to answer questions regarding their habits, tendencies, and experiences as moms who game.
We were lucky enough to sit in on this lecture and have some notes to share with you…
The panel quickly established their diversity within the social gaming space. When asked if they were frustrated by purchasing virtual goods on Facebook, one panelist conceded she did not like to game on Facebook because she doesn’t believe that is what Facebook is for. However, another panelist took a different position saying she likes to play games on Facebook and buy virtual goods because she “doesn’t like to wait”.
The women on the panel talked of playing a lot of games with their kids. In fact, they cited their kids as often opening their eyes to new games to play. As for what games are allowed within the home, each panelist agreed they get the final say on what games their kids get to play. Finally, games were pointed to as a great way of communicating and supporting their children’s emotional needs.
The questions progressed to how the women find the mobile games they are playing. Not surprisingly, the App Store was called out as the first stopping point. However, they also pointed to advertising, natural search, and paid search as means of discovering new games to play.
Play time for each women varied from 5 minutes to multiple hours depending on schedules. Quick games and long games are good but games offering high replayability and ease of engagement / disengagement were called out. Also, the convenience of mobile platforms was highlighted as it allows the women to play wherever and whenever there is time.
None of the panelists restricted themselves to a monthly gaming budget and one shared her love of the try before you buy model. Also, the women showed a tendency toward browser based games over fully downloadable games based on convenience.
When asked about game review sites, the panelists each said they do consider reviews, but typically don’t take it entirely to heart. Highly negative reviews are ignored and overall consistency of ratings is the key. One panelist deadpanned, “If I listened to every review I’ve read, I wouldn’t have half my games!”
Finally, each panelist commented on the social aspects of being mom gamers. Two comments stood out here. First, two panelists made it clear many mothers just don’t understand gaming. Second, one panelist pointed out that many mom gamers out there, “just don’t talk about it”.