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Casual gamers not so casual!

A recent study reveals that nearly one-third of casual gamers play for over two hours per gameplay session--much longer than expected.

ImageMacrovision, operator of the Trymedia Network digital distribution platform for PC games, reported that 31 percent of casual gamers on its Trygames site play for more than two hours per session, and 37 percent of those observed play nine sessions per week.

The results seem to shatter preconceptions about the "quick-bursts-of-gameplay" mindset that the industry has assumed regarding casual gamers.

"Our survey has determined that mainstream audiences dedicate a substantial amount of time to gameplay--not just in 15-minute increments as previously thought," said Loren Hillberg, executive VP and general manager of commerce at Macrovision.

Furthermore, two-thirds of the 789 study participants said that their gameplay sessions typically last at least an hour, and nearly three-fourths usually play at night. Over half play on the weekends.

Not all of Macrovision's results were surprising. The study revealed that 37 percent of casual gamers are age 35-49, and 28 percent are age 50-60. Females predictably dominate the casual segment, making up 71 percent of casual gamers.

Of interest to advertisers are the hobbies of casual gamers. Their top five interests, from most popular to least, are pets, travel, arts and crafts, shopping and gardening.

Here are more figures from this statistical feeding-frenzy:

Top casual game genres:

1. Puzzle (67%)
2. Card (44%)
3. Strategy (35%)
4. Action (34%)

67 percent read game reviews, and 46 percent of review readers feel influenced to make a purchase based on critics' opinions.

84 percent have broadband.

70 percent have purchased a game after playing a free trial.

Posted by Ed on June 30.

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