An August 2009 Nielsen report, Insights on Casual Games: Analysis of Casual Games for the PC, takes a deeper look at American's adoption and use of casual games.
The term “casual” refers to games that are typically inexpensive to produce, straightforward in concept, easy to learn, and simple to play. Casual games span game genres with casual game titles occupying most, if not all, genre categories.
Based on data from the first six months of 2009:
- 41 million Americans play casual games on average. Of the top 20 casual game titles that Nielsen tracked in May 2009, card games, played by 88% of casual gamers, were by far the most popular. Puzzle games were a distant second at 9.5 percent.
- Casual gamers spend less than half the time non-casual gamers do in each session. While casual game sessions lasted an average of 31 minutes, non-casual was more than double, at 80 minutes per session (World of Warcraft helped bump up this average, with an average play time of nearly 120 minutes).
- Females make up the majority of casual gamers (58%), a significant shift from non-casual games, which are much more of a man’s world. Males make up a full 75 percent of those playing non-casual shooter games, and 63 percent of those playing role-playing games.
- The players of non-casual games also tend to have computers with much more memory, averaging over 2 gigabytes, compared with the relatively modest 0.5 to 1 gigabytes of the casual gamers.
You can find the executive summary of the report after the break, but just one thing, Go ahead and enjoy those casual games, but be sure to take a break now and then, okay?