Neilsen Report: Game Websites Provide Stickiest Content

Websites offering online games like Solitaire and Bingo are the stickiest places on the internet, according to a new report from Neilsen//NetRatings (whatever committee thought up that cheesy // gets a slap from me).

46 million (that’s 1 in 3) Americans visited sites like Slingo to buy and download mini-games like Crazy 7s and Amazing Snail. Slingo is now one of the stickiest sites on the internet with surfers spending an average of four hours a month playing cards and throwing turtles. Even, offering free online jigsaw puzzles manages to trap people for an hour and a half of picture-rearranging fun per month.

But it’s not just playing the games, people like to read about them too – which explains why EA Online and MSN Games are so popular.

“The diversity of online game offerings showcases the popularity of games in the U.S.,” said Kaizad Gotla, an internet analyst at Nielsen//NetRatings. “Ranging from sites that offer original games to content sites that offer the latest information on popular console and PC games, the gaming industry’s presence online is indisputable.”

And who is it that’s playing cards, being amazed by snails and lobbing these turtles around? Middle aged American women: 15% of visitors to mini-games sites are American women between the ages of 35 and 49.

“Contrary to popular belief, the online games category is not dominated by males or by teens,” says Gotla. “Rather, the popularity of online games appeals to a broad demographic online, especially among middle-aged women.”

So look out for some exciting new games coming from Digital Lifestyles: first up Cat Food Challenge and Polyester Panic.

Jigzone – strangely relaxing


Neilsen NetRatings

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?