You won’t see them on the floor at this year’s Cyber World Games, but middle-aged mothers are dominating the world of mobile gaming, according to new research.
The mobile gaming world has long been known to attract adult women in greater numbers than children or adult men. In 2014, social gaming network PlayPhone found that 68% of mobile gamers are women, and 71% of those women are married. In 2012, Mom Central Consulting found that 70% of women play casual games regularly.
In a new survey from RealityMine, a marketing research technology firm, 61% of U.S. gamers were parents with children living in their household. And while the data showed that 66% of men played mobile games, women came out on top at 70%. Thus, the survey said, "mobile gamers are more likely to be middle-aged moms than their teenage sons."
Moms have taken the lead in several gaming categories, said Rolfe Swinton, chief research officer and co-founder of RealityMine. "Women are bigger game players than men, play a wider range of games and spend money more often," he said.
A woman’s average gaming session lasts 25% longer than a man’s, the study said, and women play a wide variety of games, whereas men choose to stick with just one or two. Women also play more hours during the day than men, RealityMine found: Male gaming slightly and continuously increases from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m., with peaks at lunchtime and during commuting periods. Women start gaming "much earlier in the day, with gaming sessions gradually increasing from 5 a.m.," and the 9 p.m. peak "is a lot more significant" for them, the study said.
Young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 made up just 14.2% of mobile gamers, challenging the popular notion that mobile gaming is largely a teenage pastime.
In a related recent survey, RealityMine found that women are more likely than men to multi-screen while watching TV; it found that this activity peaks at 8 p.m., with 26% of females viewing TV while also using a computer, tablet or mobile telephone.
Still, the findings don’t necessarily suggest that moms are obsessed—or even that invested—in their mobile game, said Swinton. Such games are "another form of entertainment and an easy way to spend a little time," he said. "The one thing you’ve always got with you to fill in time is your mobile device.
Thus, he said, games are "a great place for advertisers to reach people, if you can understand the context within which people play. "
RealityMine collected data for the survey from respondents’ mobile telephones with their explicit opt-in. More than 3,000 respondents were surveyed in the United States over the course of six months ending in early 2015.