Poll: Men Make Gaming Friends, Women Stay Solo

Also, around 40% of those who call themselves gamers play at least three to four hours a week, a new survey says.

Gregg Keizer, Contributor

May 9, 2006

2 Min Read

Four in 10 Americans play video or computer games, a poll released Monday by the Associated Press and America Online said, while nearly half of all players go online to game.

The survey of over 3,000 American adults found the usual -- more men (45 percent) than women (35 percent) play computer and/or video games -- but it also uncovered some new statistics. Women, for instance, prefer to play games solo, while men are more likely to play with others, whether on- or offline.

Forty-one percent of those who called themselves gamers play at least 3-4 hours a week, with a sizable minority of 1 in 10 claiming they played 10 or more hours each week. Online gamers were the most hardcore; 16 percent of them said they played 10 or more hours weekly, compared to only 6 percent of offline players.

Men are more likely to make friends with other online gamers, the survey showed. One in 4 have formed ongoing friendships or relationships from playing online games with strangers, while fewer than 1 in 7 women have done the same.

"The findings continue to affirm that gaming is a social experience that hits all spectrums of consumers, males, females, young, and old," said Ralph Rivera, general manager of AOL Games.

The poll also seemed to put proof to the call by analysts that online gaming is a future paved with gold. According to a report released in December 2005, online gaming revenues will climb from $1.1 billion to more than $3.5 billion by 2009.

The AP-AOL poll results said that on average, more than twice as many online gamers spent at least $500 on gaming during 2005 than did players who stayed offline (17 percent versus 7 percent). Almost a third of online games (28 percent) spent $200 or more.

Video game retail revenues in 2005 reached $10.5 billion, according to the NPD Group, while PC game sales slumped slightly to $953 million.

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