Aging Brain Games Fastest Growing Casual Game Segment

SEATTLE, March 30: The video game industry has found that its fasting growing segment of the U.S. casual market is women 40 and older.

Seattle-based PopCap Games found that 47 percent of its customers last year were older than 50 and 76 percent were women, The New York Times said Friday.

Electronic Arts learned people 50 and older comprised 28 percent of the visitors to its Pogo.com Web site in February, accounting for more than 40 percent of total time spent there. Female online gamers, on average, spent more time on the site daily than men.

"Baby boomers and up are definitely our fastest-growing demographic, and it is because the fear factor is diminishing," Beatrice Spaine, marketing director at Pogo.com, told the newspaper. "Women come for the games, but they stay for the community. It's kind of a MySpace for seniors."

John Vechey at PopCap said the company uses "the Mom Test" to gauge a product's likely success.

"When we were first making games like Bejeweled, we would sit our moms in front of the computers and just let them play, and that's a big way how we would see what works in an accessible, casual game," Vechey said to the Times.

--- UPI

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