Survey Says: Men Hate to Admit to Casual Gaming

According to the first annual market report from the Casual Games Association, 75% of such game purchases are made by women. However players of casual games are divided evenly between the sexes.  Said CGA’s managing director Jessica Tams:

It was really shocking for everybody. We knew these guys were playing these games.  But the hard-core gamer who is playing Halo with his buddies isn’t going to brag that he just beat the next level of Zuma.

Apparently men can’t resist the siren call of pick-up-and-play titles like Bejeweled or Bookworm.  But while women seem to have no issue buying such titles, men are more likely to find a free version or go the piracy route.

The reported popularity of casual games with both sexes is no doubt music to the ears of developers who are already expending resources on casual games for cell phones and the Nintendo Wii.  Tams remarks that social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook would do well to take advantage of the burgeoning causal games market too.

You have these two big draws, Facebook and MySpace, but the big problem they’ve been having is that they haven’t been able to monetize their consumers yet and video games are a way for them to monetize…

Well, at least the female consumers.

Via: Reuters

-Reporting from San Diego, GP Correspondent Andrew Eisen

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  1. 0
    twentyhood. says:

    […] Traditional says that these games are mainly for ladies, and men prefer to tackle “real” games like Hal or Tomb Raider. But as it happens, men play ‘em too, but hate to admit to it. The news comes from […]

  2. 0
    Konola ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    My god. I can’t think of any guy that I know of who is embarassed about “casual gaming”. To me it doesn’t make any sense. Now if it was any Barbie game known to man, then that probably be embarrassing to a guy.

    P.S I play Neopets, Pokemon, and many more. apparently Most of these games are embarrassing to most adults anywere. Now I am 17, but it is 1 year from 18, so that should still have some credibility to it. Oh BTW, I agree. Why should every thing be based on gender now a days. At least put some age groups in there, that can give you more surprises then this.

  3. 0
    rendell says:

    I guess I among the few weird one, who brags to each other about our Puzzle Quest character.

    As for the play it for free feature, most of the time it is a time trial that last about 60 minutes. You only get to enjoy the full game after a purchase.

  4. 0
    Terminator44 says:

    Bah, what game you play is meaningless as far as dedication is concerned. You can play just a round or two of Halo 3 a day (as I have to now, due to schedule constraints) and be casual. On the other hand, you could play Mutant Storm Reloaded for hours on end (as I did in my pre-college days) and be pretty hardcore. It’s all about your frame of mind.

    *Goes off to download Mutant Storm Empire*

  5. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I love Rollercoaster Tycoon, Caeser 3 onwards, Pharoah, Children of the Nile, Sim City etc etc, never made a secret of it. I’ve always been a ‘builder game’ fan, mostly because I have a love of designing the city/themepark layout and making sure everything runs to maximum efficiency etc, as well as tweaking to see what happens when I change stuff.

    Yes, I know, I’m weird.

  6. 0
    CyberSkull ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Uh, what? I like all kinds of games, whether they be this “casual” or this “hardcore”.

    Perhaps people aren’t bragging about their Zuma scores because it’s not the greatest of games?

  7. 0
    Andrew Eisen ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Good question. Everyone seems to have there own idea as to what constitutes a casual game. The Casual Games Association defines them thusly:

    “Developed for the general public and families, casual games are video games that are fun and easy to learn and play. The games are platform agnostic, meaning they can be played via the Internet, PC and Macintosh computers, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo DS, Wii and even mobile phones and PDA. They’re nonviolent, arcade-style games that involve puzzles, words, board and card games, game show and trivia. Popular games are Mahjong, Tetris, Solitaire, Bejeweled, Cake Mania, Mystery Case Files, and Luxor.”

    Andrew Eisen

  8. 0
    McDaddy ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The last few responses have flirted around with an interesting question.

    What is the true definition of a “casual game?” Is it determined by the designer or the player? And has that definition changed over the past 3-5 years?

    Just wondering.

  9. 0
    Matthew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Tetris would count as a casual game if it came out now, wouldn’t it? There’s the mellow aquarium-themed one on XBLA for one. How far does it go? Most logic puzzle games are “casual.” Sudoku, crosswords… leading to more detailed puzzlers like Bookworm Adventures, Puzzle Quest, etc.

    Is Geometry Wars casual? It fits the mould (cheap, quick, no story, pick-up-and-play) but it’s adrenaline-fuelled and very “hardcore.” For that matter, are *arcades* casual? A pound for five minutes that you can happily forget about when you’re done. Surely men admit to liking arcades. Half of us grew up in one.

    Does technology matter, then? Is Portal not casual because it has a story and takes more power than SETI? If Portal was a series of isolated challenges, would it become casual then?

    Oh, and it kind of goes without saying, but if you hate Peggle then you hate life.

  10. 0
    xzero87 says:

    There’s nothing wrong with not being “hardcore”, some of the games I’ve had the most fun with as a 20-year-old male have been “kiddy games”. Not the specifically made-for-young-kids games, but things like Yoshi’s Island, and especially Harvest Moon.

    Don’t really understand the stigma that seems to be attached to them.

  11. 0
    GryphonOsiris ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Agreed, I mean I play harcore games like Halo and Gears of War, but I also play Live Arcade games like Uno, big whoopedey-do. Oh well, just another useless survey.

  12. 0
    Conejo says:

    wtf? do these surveyors read Penny Arcade?

    Tycho FREQUENTLY talks about playing such casual games (he loves Bookworm) and Gabe is a Pokemon freak. and these are two of the biggest named gamers in the world.

    anyway, Harvest Moon is awesome. i need to pick up the new Fantasy Harvest Moon (fight monsters, save the farm!). and casual games are fun, that’s not something you should be embarassed about.

  13. 0
    InJM ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I love that penguin batting game. When I was in college, I spent a lot of time wasting time at Albino Black Sheep and MSN Games. It’s not something I’d brag about like I would with console or handheld games. Cell-phone games, as long as they aren’t puzzle, are good ways to spend time away from the computer but still play games.

  14. 0
    Kharne ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Ben Ambroso

    Harvest Moon is casual? I mean, I know it’s not a hardcore blood n’ guts FPS action killfest. But I’d think theres a lot more to Harvest Moon than say.. Bejeweled or Cubix.

  15. 0
    lumi ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I absolutely love casual games, but yeah, I don’t see the point in buying Zuma when I can play it for free online.

    Or why I should bother buying any of those games when I can just play Kitty Cannon all day. Apparently it’s my dark side that really enjoys the casual gaming ^_^

  16. 0
    Skylar ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I also enjoy many casual games. However, being a “hardcore” gamer at heart, I only get casual games via online downloads (in XBL, mostly). I even made my wife pay for the copy of Cake Mania (with my credit card, of course) she got at Wal-Mart. Pathetic, huh?

    Of course, last time we rented video games, I picked up Lego Star Wars II for the 360, and she got Heavenly Sword for the PS3. Go figure.

  17. 0
    aresil ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “I love all those little flash games, does it count?”

    I’d say it counts. I’d bet many of us have wiled away the hours playing smack the penguin, or similar games found on the net.

  18. 0
    nightwng2000 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Pah! I like a variety of games, including casual games. Depends on my mood.

    I’d played Bejeweled 2 for a while, but eventually became bored with it. I was glad to see Puzzle Quest which blended RPG with Bejeweled.

    And I’ve been known to sit back and play a variety of games on, of which I am actually a Club Pogo member. It’s good to play casual games and listen to some audiobooks at the same time.

    But I also have my non-casual game interests like Saints Row and several street racing games.

    NW2K Software

  19. 0
    Ben Ambroso ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “But while women seem to have no issue buying such titles, men are more likely to find a free version or go the piracy route.”

    Oh, missed that part. Yeah, of course guys are. Because we’re smart enough to say “…its Bejeweled…and you paid $19.99 for it? Wow…I’m just going to download it for free now…” No disrespect meant for women, its just that it seems the male populous understands the whole warez thing alot better than females.

  20. 0
    FlyinM_X ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    What is there to be embarrased about when it comes to casual gaming? I’m hardcore, I’m male, and I love casual games too.

    Wow this is a rather pointless survey.

    And of course I wont buy something I can get for free (legally) on the internet. Unless of course, they make it worth your while.

    Why should I have to pay full price for something I use to kill 20 minutes every once in a while.

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