A study by Nielsen Entertainment has revealed that men spend more money on video games than they do on music, adding weight to a growing belief that video games are displacing other forms of media for the notoriously fickle attentions of young men.
And it’s not just the kids fragging and gibbing away – the study also reveals that old ‘uns are getting down with da yoot on the consoles, with nearly a quarter of all gamers being over 40.
The random survey of 1,500 people was conducted by the interactive unit of Nielsen Entertainment earlier this year and revealed that games now rank only behind DVDs as a purchase category, ahead of CDs, digital MP3 files and other ways of buying music.
We’ve no idea why this is relevant, but Nielsen also wanted to know how gaming split along lines of race, discovering that African-Americans and Hispanics spend more money on games each month than Caucasians. So now we know.
Naturally, advertisers are keen to cash in on the rising popularity of games, and are looking at ever more persuasive ways to bombard bedroom-bound, bunglesome boys with beguiling adverts (branded billboards in race games are already commonplace, as we’ve reported previously).
Never one to miss an opportunity, Nielsen has announced that they are working on a method to measure audience response to the in-game ads.
The study also discovered that 40% of US households have some kind of system dedicated to game play – whether a gaming PC, a console or a handheld device – with 23% mad-for-it gamers owning all three types of systems.
Like masturbation, older gamers prefer to do it alone, with 79% of men and 79% of women over the age of 45 spending most of their time playing alone.
Teenage girls tended to play more socially, while women aged 25-54 spent equal time playing alone and with others.
Overall, Nielsen reported that active gamers tend to spend just over 5 hours a week playing alone and 3 hours a week playing with people or online.
The US video game industry now rakes in US$10 billion (€7.7b/£5.3b) in annual revenue, roughly as much as US box office sales.